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Bosnia & Herzegovina Travel Guide

Last Updated: August 17, 2023

a view of a bridge across water in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Often overlooked because the country’s name is still synonymous with the Yugoslavian War of the 1990s, Bosnia & Herzegovina deserves your attention. It’s one of the most underrated destinations in Europe .

Not a lot of people backpack or travel through the country but it is rich in history, culture, and natural beauty.

Three major religions (Islam, Roman Catholic, and Serbian Orthodox) all come together in this small area to form a vibrant blend of cultures. You’ll hear the Muslim call to prayer over the minarets one minute, and church bells ringing from a nearby church the next.

Watch skilled divers jump from the iconic bridge in Mostar, enjoy some hookah at one of Sarajevo’s sidewalk cafes, take a dip in the turquoise pools below the cascading Kravica Falls, or raft down the Tara Canyon, the deepest canyon in Europe.

The country (especially the capital) has become more popular in recent years thanks to increasing tourism in the region and cheaper prices but you can still catch it before the big crowds come!

This travel guide to Bosnia & Herzegovina will help you plan your trip, save money, and make the most of your time in this off-the-beaten-path destination!

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on Bosnia & Herzegovina

Top 5 Things to See and Do in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Historic square filled with pigeons and people and a minaret in the background in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

1. See Sarajevo

Bosnia’s capital has a distinct “east meets west” vibe. Perched alongside the Miljacka River and surrounded by mountains, the city is both scenic and historic. It is well-known for its cultural diversity and is sometimes referred to as the Jerusalem of Europe; within the city you can sometimes find a mosque, a catholic church, and a synagogue all within a few blocks. Wander the colorful Bascarsija Square for excellent people-watching, and while you’re there visit the iconic Sebilj Fountain. This Ottoman-style wooden fountain was originally built in 1753 and relocated in 1891. Local legend claims that if you drink from the fountain, you will always return to Sarajevo. Enjoy some hookah, take the cable car to the top of Mount Trebevic for incredible views, and visit the Bašcaršija historic market for some snacks and more people-watching.

2. Check out Mostar

Mostar is a medieval city best known for its 16th-century bridge, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, straddling the Neretva river. The bridge is constructed in the Ottoman style, and on warm days you will often spot locals jumping off into the river. Mostar’s name comes from the word mostari , which translates to bridge keeper (the original bridge was crucial to an important trade route). Strolling through Mostar is like traveling back in time, with its picturesque cobblestone streets and incredible architecture. Explore this historic town and see the ancient Ottoman homes and panoramic views from the local mosque. It’s one of the best cities in the country.

3. Visit the Pliva Lakes

The Pliva Lakes are two emerald lakes surrounded by wooded mountains, just outside Jajce. The area is home to the famous Pliva watermills, unique wooden watermills that were traditionally used to grind wheat. With rivers, waterfalls, and easy bike paths, outdoor lovers flock here to swim, paddle, bike, and explore. Surrounded by amenities like picnic tables, fire pits, kayak rentals, cafes, and playgrounds, the lakes are an ideal place to enjoy a day surrounded by nature. The lakes are formed from the widening Pliva River, which joins the Vrbas River and empties over the 22-meter (72-foot) Pliva Waterfall. For something unique, plan your visit to the annual waterfall jumping competition held here each August.

4. Marvel at the Kravica Waterfall

These marvelous cascades drop 25 meters (82 feet) into a bright emerald pool. During the springtime, the forests surrounding the pool and waterfall blossom into lush greenery, giving the area an oasis-like appearance. You can spend the day splashing in the swimming hole and swinging from the rope swing. Afterward, there’s a little café next to the water where you can grab a snack or a cold beer. Admission is 20 BAM, and swimming is allowed. To see the falls as part of a day trip from Mostar or Dubrovnik costs around 70 BAM.

5. Explore Trebinje

Other things to see and do in bosnia & herzegovina, 1. ostrožac fortress.

This Gothic castle in the Una Valley is one of Bosnia’s most photogenic landmarks thanks to its brick torrents and stone wall running along the valley’s edge. Ostrožac has plenty to explore within its grounds, including a sculpture garden, ramparts, towers, and a manor house dating back to 1286. You can only visit the castle during the summer. Admission is 4 BAM.

2. Walk the Tunnel of Hope

Surrounded by Bosnian-Serb forces, Sarajevo had just one link with the outside world from 1992–1995: an 800-meter long (2,624-feet), 1-meter (3-feet) wide, 1.6-meter (5-feet) high tunnel connecting two houses on opposite sides of the airport runway. Eventually, the tunnel was equipped with rails to transport food and supplies. You can walk through part of the tunnel from the house at the western entrance while learning about the story of the siege through informational displays and videos. It’s an incredibly moving experience. The tunnel is open 9am-5pm daily and admission is 10 BAM.

3. Visit the National Museum of Bosnia & Herzegovina

The National Museum of Bosnia & Herzegovina in Sarajevo houses the Sarajevo Haggadah (a Jewish text) illuminated manuscript, which contains the illustrated text of the Passover Haggadah that goes with the Passover Seder. It’s one of the oldest Haggadah in the world, dating from 1350 and originating in Barcelona. In addition to Greek pottery and Roman mosaics, this museum is also home to a collection of stecci (medieval tombstones found scattered around the country). They started appearing in the 12th century for various Christian churches like the Bosnian Church, and most of them are inscribed with the extinct Bosnian Cyrillic alphabet. The entrance to the museum is 8 BAM.

4. See the Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge

Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge was built in Višegrad in 1571 and was designed by Mimar Sinan, the famous chief architect for the Ottoman Empire. He was the master builder behind both the Sehzade Mosque and the Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, and this 11-arch bridge is the only confirmed work he completed in Bosnia & Herzegovina. It stretches 179 meters (587 feet) across the Drina River, and although it’s now closed to traffic, you can still appreciate its perfectly symmetrical beauty from the land.

5. See the watermills of Jajce

Jajce is known as the “city of falling water” thanks to its giant waterfall that connects the rivers Pliva and Vrbas. During the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867-1918), the small wooden huts stood on stilts over the gushing water used to ground local farmers’ wheat into flour. You can’t go inside, but you can see the huts up close as you explore.

6. Take a tour of Tito’s Bunker

On the bank of the river Neretva, just outside of Konjic and hidden behind a seemingly normal house, the once-forgotten bunker was built under the command of the Yugoslav revolutionary Josip Tito. It was kept secret for many years — even the construction workers were blindfolded until they arrived on site. The bunker cost billions of dollars to build and is now home to a contemporary art biennial called D-0 ARK Underground. You can only visit as a part of a guided tour with Visit Konjic, which costs 22 BAM.

7. See the Bosnian Pyramids

Located near Visoko, the Bosnian Pyramids are a set of four pyramids dating back 12,000 years ago that have perfect cardinal alignment, some reaching heights of 220 meters (721 feet). While most of the scientific community has debunked the theory that an ancient civilization built these structures, it’s a pretty amazing coincidence that they’re so aligned with the north. There are no official tours, so you’re free to explore on your own.

8. Visit Galerija 11/07/95

One of the most tragic events of the Yugoslavian War was the Srebrenica massacre, the largest genocide since World War II carried out by Bosnian Serb forces. With 8,372 victims, the gallery stands as a memorial to those that lost their life while also sharing survivor stories. It’s a powerful exhibition made up of photography, video footage, and audio testimonies. Admission is 12 BAM. An audio guide costs 3 BAM and a tour is 4 BAM.

9. Go whitewater rafting

Whitewater rafting on the Tara River Canyon, the deepest canyon in Europe, is one of the most exciting things to do in the country as you tackle rapids and fast-flowing water. Other than navigating 25 kilometers (15 miles) of white water, your guide will take you to waterfalls, springs, and swimming holes. I recommend Rafting Center Drina Tara. Their full-day tour costs 140 BAM and ends with a delicious traditional dinner of homemade goat pies, soup, grilled lamb, and drinks.

Bosnia & Herzegovina Travel Costs

Panoramic view of the historic town of Mostar with its iconic stone arched bridge in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Accommodation – Hostel dorms start at around 19 BAM per night for an 8-10-bed dorm while a bed in a 4-6 person dorm costs closer to 28 BAM. For a private room, expect to pay at least 45-63 BAM per night for a twin.

Budget hotels in bigger cities (like Mostar and Sarajevo) cost around 63 BAM per night for a double or twin. In the more rural areas, you’ll find rooms for as low as 35 BAM.

Airbnb is another affordable option, with private rooms starting around 30 BAM per night while a full home or apartment costs at least 40 BAM (though prices average double that or more).

For anyone traveling with a tent, wild camping on public land is legal in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Additionally, there are campsites available throughout the country. Tent plots cost about 10.50 BAM per person.

Food – Traditional food in Bosnia & Herzegovina is very cheap and filling (and meat-heavy). Beef and lamb are popular staples, and influences from the Middle East and the Mediterranean are common. Sarma (meat and rice in pickled cabbage leaves), cevapi (a pita filled with cream and sausage), and burek (a flaky pastry with meat, cheese, and spinach) are some of the popular traditional choices. Common ingredients include potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, cabbage, and plums.

You can get plates of cevapi or burek for about 7 BAM. A meal at a mid-range restaurant costs about 15 BAM and you can expect to pay about 3 BAM for a beer. Dinner at a fancy restaurant (including Western restaurants) costs about 35 BAM for an appetizer, main, and dessert.

For comparison, fast food like McDonald’s is about 9 BAM for a combo meal.

If you are planning to cook your own food, a week’s worth of groceries costs around 45-65 BAM. This gets you basic staples like rice, seasonal produce, and some meat.

Backpacking Bosnia & Herzegovina Suggested Budgets

If you are backpacking in Bosnia & Herzegovina, my suggested budget is 85 BAM per day. This assumes you’re staying in a hostel dorm, cooking your meals, sticking to mostly free activities (like free walking tours and hiking), and using public transportation to get around.

A mid-range budget of about 160 BAM covers staying in an Airbnb, eating out for all your meals at cheap local places, enjoying a few drinks, taking the occasional taxi, and doing more paid activities like museum visits or rafting.

On a “luxury” budget of 275 BAM per day or more, you will stay in a hotel, eat out for all your meals, enjoy lots of drinks, take more taxis or rent a car, and do all the tours you desire. This is just the ground floor for luxury though. The sky is the limit!

You can use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily, depending on your travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages — some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in BAM.

Bosnia & Herzegovina Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

Bosnia & Herzegovina, like most of the region, is very budget-friendly. You’ll be able to eat, drink, and stay in comfortable accommodations without breaking the bank too much. However, I always love saving money when I can so here are some tips to help you save money when you visit:

  • Do a free walking tour – Both Sarajevo and Mostar have free walking tours available. They’re a great way to get familiar with the city and the culture. Just be sure to tip your guide at the end!
  • Wild camp – If you really want to save money in Bosnia & Herzegovina, bring your tent. You can pitch your tent on public land throughout Bosnia & Herzegovina.
  • Cook your own meals – Many hostels here include kitchen facilities, so if you want to save money, cook your own meals. It’s not glamorous but it’s cheap!
  • Stay with a local – Staying with a local via Couchsurfing is a great way to not only save money but to meet a knowledgeable local. Just make sure to send your requests early as there are not a ton of hosts here.
  • Walk everywhere – All of the major cities in Bosnia & Herzegovina are walkable, so skip the public transportation if you want to save a few extra dollars.
  • Enjoy the free spaces – There are plenty of free parks as well as many free hiking trails around the country. Save your budget and enjoy the outdoors!
  • Drink the tap water – Tap water within the cities is safe to drink, but not in the rural areas. Pick up a LifeStraw (a water bottle with a purifier) so you can cut down on your use of plastic bottles while saving money in the process.

Where to Stay in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Like many other countries in this part of Europe, Bosnia & Herzegovina only has hostel accommodation in the cities. In the smaller less popular areas, you will find B&B style accommodation or campsites. Here are some of my favorite places to stay in Bosnia & Herzegovina:

  • Hostel Kucha (Sarajevo)
  • Balkan Han Hostel (Sarajevo)
  • Hostel Franz Ferdinand (Sarajevo)
  • Villa Cardak (Mostar)
  • Rooms Goa Mostar (Mostar)
  • The Red Door Hostel Trebinje (Trebinje)

How to Get Around Bosnia & Herzegovina

Cable cars descending from a mountain into the city of Sarajevo, in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Public transportation – Most towns in Bosnia & Herzegovina are walkable. While public transportation prices vary by city, you can expect to pay around 2 BAM for a one-way ticket on buses, trams, or trolleybuses.

Taxi – If you need to take a taxi, prices start at about 3 BAM and cost about 1.60 BAM for every additional kilometer. While affordable, they do add up so skip them if you can.

Bus – There is an extensive network of long-distance intercity and international buses. Between towns, it’s normally easy enough to wave down any bus. Reservations are sometimes necessary for overnight routes or at peak holiday times but not during the day. The biggest companies include:

  • Centrotrans

A bus from Sarajevo to Mostar takes 2.5 hours and costs around 11 BAM, while Sarajevo to Trebinje takes nearly 10 hours and is about 40 BAM. Mostar to Jajce is a 4.5-hour journey and costs about 27 BAM. Try to book a day in advance when possible as seats do fill up quickly in the summer season.

It is worth noting that if you buy a round trip with the same company, you can save yourself up to 60% compared to buying two single tickets. Also, if you need to put luggage in the hold, companies will often charge you an additional 2-4 BAM. (It’s common in this region to charge for the luggage hold.)

Train – Trains do operate in Bosnia & Herzegovina, however, they are outdated and extremely slow. I do not recommend using them. Take the bus instead.

Flying – No budget airlines offer domestic flights within Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Car rental – Car rentals can be found for around 40 BAM per day for a multi-day rental. Renters must be at least 21 years old and have an International Driving Permit (IDP). For the best car rental prices, use Discover Cars .

When to Go to Bosnia & Herzegovina

In general, May through to October is the best time to visit Bosnia & Herzegovina as these are the warmest months. The temperature hovers around 31°C (87°F) and rarely drops below 17°C (62°F).

Even in the summer months, Bosnia & Herzegovina doesn’t get a ton of tourism traffic. A lot of people will take a day trip to Mostar from Croatia, but you don’t have to worry too much about overcrowding in the rest of the country.

Unlike other Mediterranean countries, Bosnia & Herzegovina doesn’t have a whole lot of coastal areas to enjoy. If you’re here mostly for hiking or sightseeing, the cooler spring/fall temperatures might suit you better.

Winters here can be harsh and they often last from November to March. Temperatures often drop below freezing, and snowfall is common. I’d skip a winter visit.

How to Stay Safe in Bosnia & Herzegovina

In Bosnia & Herzegovina, violent crime against tourists is rare. However, scams and pick-pocketing are common, usually on public transport and in the cities and especially around high-traffic areas in Sarajevo. Always keep an eye on your stuff and only take the cash you need for the day. You can read about common travel scams to avoid here.

If you want to go hiking, it’s essential you stick to marked trails only. Landmines can still be found here from the war so always stick to the trail.

Solo female travelers should generally feel safe here, however, the standard precautions apply (never leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk home alone intoxicated, etc.).

If you experience an emergency, dial 122 for assistance.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:

Bosnia & Herzegovina Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • Booking.com – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • HostelPass – This new card gives you up to 20% off hostels throughout Europe. It’s a great way to save money. They’re constantly adding new hostels too. I’ve always wanted something like this and glad it finallt exists.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • The Man in Seat 61 – This website is the ultimate guide to train travel anywhere in the world. They have the most comprehensive information on routes, times, prices, and train conditions. If you are planning a long train journey or some epic train trip, consult this site.
  • Rome2Rio – This website allows you to see how to get from point A to point B the best and cheapest way possible. It will give you all the bus, train, plane, or boat routes that can get you there as well as how much they cost.
  • FlixBus – Flixbus has routes between 20 European countries with prices starting as low 5 EUR! Their buses include WiFi, electrical outlets, a free checked bag.
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!

Bosnia & Herzegovina Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on backpacking/traveling Europe and continue planning your trip:

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Bosnia & Hercegovina

Craggily beautiful Bosnia and Hercegovina is most intriguing for its East-meets-West atmosphere born of blended Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian histories filtered through a Southern Slavic lens. Many still associate the country with the heartbreaking civil war of the 1990s, and the scars from that time are all too visible. But today's visitors are likely to remember the country for its deep, unassuming human warmth, its beautiful mountains, numerous medieval castle ruins, raftable rivers, impressive waterfalls and bargain-value skiing.

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Kravica Waterfall

There's a slightly unreal Disney-esque quality to this outstanding natural attraction, where the Trebižat River plummets in a broad 25m-high arc into an…

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Galerija 11/07/95

This gallery uses stirring photography, video footage and audio testimonies of survivors and family members to create a powerful memorial to the 8372…

War damaged National Library, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo City Hall

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Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial Centre

Based in and around the derelict battery factory that served as the Potočari UN base, this memorial centre incorporates a major display entitled…

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Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel Guide – Everything You Need to Know

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Bosnia and Herzegovina, nestled in the heart of the Balkans, is a hidden gem of Europe waiting to be explored. With a rich and complex history, stunning natural beauty, and a vibrant cultural tapestry, this nation offers a diverse range of experiences for tourists. From the historic streets of Sarajevo to the breathtaking landscapes of the Dinaric Alps and the serene waters of the Adriatic Sea, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a destination that seamlessly blends tradition and modernity, making it an enticing choice for travelers seeking a unique and immersive journey.

What’s the Best Time to Visit? 📅

The best time to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina as a tourist largely depends on your interests and the activities you wish to pursue. The country experiences four distinct seasons, each offering unique experiences:

  • Spring is a delightful time to visit. The weather is mild and pleasant, with blooming flowers and lush green landscapes.
  • This season is ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, nature exploration, and sightseeing in cities like Sarajevo and Mostar.
  • Be prepared for occasional rain in the spring.
  • Summer is the peak tourist season, with warm to hot temperatures. It’s a great time for outdoor adventures and exploring Bosnia’s natural beauty.
  • Festivals and cultural events are in full swing during the summer, offering a chance to immerse yourself in local traditions.
  • Popular destinations like Mostar and the Adriatic coast can get crowded, so book accommodations and activities in advance.
  • Autumn is another pleasant time to visit, with mild temperatures and colorful foliage.
  • It’s a great season for hiking, as the mountains are ablaze with autumn colors.
  • Crowds are smaller compared to summer, and prices for accommodations and activities may be more budget-friendly.
  • Winter is an excellent time for winter sports enthusiasts. Bosnia and Herzegovina has several ski resorts, and the season typically runs from December to March.
  • Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics, and you can explore the Olympic facilities and try skiing and snowboarding.
  • Sarajevo is known for its festive Christmas markets and holiday spirit.
  • In the mountains, expect cold temperatures and snowfall.

In general, the best time to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina for a well-rounded experience is in the spring and early autumn when the weather is pleasant, and outdoor activities can be enjoyed. However, if you’re specifically interested in skiing and winter sports, the winter months are the ideal time to visit. Keep in mind that popular tourist destinations may be crowded during the summer, so booking in advance is advisable.

What’s the Best Way to Get Around? 🚌

Getting around Bosnia and Herzegovina as a tourist is relatively straightforward, with various transportation options available. The choice of transportation method may depend on your itinerary, budget, and preferences. Here are some ways to get around in Bosnia and Herzegovina:

  • Car Rental : Renting a car is a convenient way to explore Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially if you plan to visit multiple cities or remote areas. Major cities like Sarajevo, Mostar, and Banja Luka have rental car agencies. Ensure you have a valid driver’s license and are aware of local driving rules.
  • Public Buses : Public buses are a cost-effective option for intercity travel. Bus routes connect major cities and towns in the country. Buses are generally reliable and provide a good opportunity to interact with locals.
  • Trains : Bosnia and Herzegovina has a railway network that connects various cities. Train travel can be scenic, particularly in the countryside. However, train services may be less frequent and slower than buses.
  • Minibuses : Minibuses, also known as “furgons,” are a common form of transportation for shorter intercity routes, offering a bit more comfort and faster travel times than regular buses.
  • Taxis : Taxis are widely available in cities and can be a convenient way to get around. Ensure the taxi uses a meter or agree on the fare in advance.
  • Trams and Buses in Cities : In cities like Sarajevo, trams and buses are a reliable and affordable way to explore the urban areas and their attractions.
  • Cycling : In many cities and tourist destinations, you can rent bicycles for exploring at your own pace. Consider guided cycling tours for a more in-depth experience.
  • Walking : Bosnia and Herzegovina’s cities and towns are often best explored on foot, especially in the historic and Old Town areas.
  • Domestic Flights : While Bosnia and Herzegovina is a relatively small country, there are domestic flights connecting Sarajevo and Banja Luka. These flights can save time if you need to cover longer distances.
  • Ferries : If you plan to visit some coastal regions, there are ferry services connecting cities like Dubrovnik in neighboring Croatia with the city of Neum in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Shared Taxis : In some areas, you can share taxis with other travelers. These are called “shared taxis” or “collective taxis.” They can be a cost-effective way to reach destinations with limited public transportation.

When using public transportation, it’s essential to check schedules, especially for buses and trains, as they may not run as frequently as in some other European countries. Additionally, be prepared for potential language barriers, especially in rural areas, so it can be helpful to have key phrases in the local language or a translation app at hand. Overall, the choice of transportation in Bosnia and Herzegovina largely depends on your specific travel plans and the level of adventure you seek.

What’s the Official Language?

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a multilingual country with three official languages: Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian. These languages are mutually intelligible and share many similarities, with minor differences in vocabulary and pronunciation. Here are some common words and phrases in these languages that can be helpful for tourists:

  • Hello – Zdravo (Zdrah-voh)
  • Good morning – Dobro jutro (Doh-broh yoo-troh)
  • Good afternoon – Dobar dan (Doh-bahr dahn)
  • Good evening – Dobra večer (Doh-brah veh-cher)
  • Goodbye – Doviđenja (Doh-vee-jeh-nyah)
  • Please – Molim (Moh-leem)
  • Thank you – Hvala (Hvah-lah)
  • You’re welcome – Nema na čemu (Neh-mah nah chay-moo)
  • Yes – Da (Dah)
  • No – Ne (Neh)
  • Excuse me / Sorry – Izvinite (Eez-vee-nee-teh)
  • My name is… – Moje ime je… (Moy-eh ee-meh yeh…)
  • How much does this cost? – Koliko ovo košta? (Koh-lee-koh oh-vo koh-shta?)
  • Where is…? – Gdje je…? (Gdyeh yeh…?)
  • Restroom / Toilet – Toalet (Toh-ah-let)
  • Food – Hrana (Hrah-nah)
  • Water – Voda (Voh-dah)
  • Coffee – Kafa (Kah-fah)
  • Beer – Pivo (Pee-voh)
  • Cheers! (when toasting) – Živjeli! (Zhee-vee-lee)
  • Hello – Bok (Bok)
  • Excuse me / Sorry – Oprostite (Oh-pros-tee-teh)
  • My name is… – Zovem se… (Zoh-vehm seh…)
  • Restroom / Toilet – WC (Veh-tseh)
  • Coffee – Kava (Kah-vah)
  • Good evening – Dobra veče (Doh-brah veh-cheh)
  • Where is…? – Gde je…? (Gdeh yeh…?)
  • Cheers! (when toasting) – Živeli! (Zhee-vee-lee)

Learning a few basic words and phrases in these languages can enhance your travel experience and help you communicate more effectively with the locals. Most people in Bosnia and Herzegovina are accustomed to tourists and appreciate efforts to speak their languages.

Where to Stay? 🏨

Bosnia and Herzegovina offers a range of accommodation options to suit various preferences and budgets. Here are some of the places where you can stay as a tourist:

  • Hotels : Bosnia and Herzegovina has a variety of hotels, from budget-friendly to luxury options. Major cities like Sarajevo, Mostar, and Banja Luka offer a wide selection of hotels to choose from.
  • Hostels : Hostels are a popular choice for budget travelers. They provide affordable dormitory beds or private rooms, often with a communal and social atmosphere. You can find hostels in many tourist areas.
  • Guesthouses : Guesthouses, often referred to as “sobe,” are small, family-run accommodations that offer a more intimate and local experience. They are common in both urban and rural areas.
  • Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs) : B&Bs are available in some tourist destinations, providing a homely atmosphere and often including a hearty breakfast.
  • Pensions : Pensions are family-owned and operated accommodations that offer a personalized touch. They can be a great way to experience local hospitality.
  • Apartments and Vacation Rentals : In many cities and towns, you can rent apartments or vacation homes through platforms like Airbnb. This option is excellent for families or longer stays.
  • Mountain Lodges : If you’re exploring the mountainous regions, you can find mountain lodges that cater to hikers and adventurers. These lodges are often basic but comfortable.
  • Eco-Lodges : In the countryside and natural areas, eco-lodges offer environmentally friendly accommodations, allowing you to connect with nature.
  • Rural Homestays : In some rural areas, especially near national parks and historical sites, you can stay with local families and experience authentic Bosnian culture and traditions.
  • Boutique and Design Hotels : In major cities, boutique and design hotels provide a unique and stylish accommodation experience.
  • Sarajevo’s Ottoman-Style Accommodations : In Sarajevo, consider staying in a traditional Ottoman-style hotel to experience the city’s rich history and architecture.
  • Spa and Wellness Resorts : Bosnia and Herzegovina has spa and wellness resorts that offer relaxation and rejuvenation, often located in scenic surroundings.
  • Camping : If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you can find campsites in national parks and mountainous regions. Be sure to check local regulations and safety guidelines.

It’s advisable to book accommodations in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons and in popular destinations. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s accommodations often reflect the country’s blend of cultures, so you can expect a warm and welcoming environment that offers insights into local traditions and hospitality.

What to Eat? 🍽️

Bosnian cuisine is a delightful blend of flavors influenced by Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and Mediterranean traditions. As a tourist in Bosnia and Herzegovina, be sure to try these must-try Bosnian dishes:

  • Ćevapi : These small, grilled sausages made of minced meat (usually a mixture of beef and lamb) are a Bosnian culinary staple. They are typically served with somun (a type of flatbread), chopped onions, and a red pepper-based condiment called ajvar.
  • Burek : A savory pastry made of thin layers of dough filled with minced meat, cheese, or potatoes. Burek is often enjoyed for breakfast or as a snack.
  • Begova Čorba : Also known as Bey’s Soup, this is a hearty soup made with yogurt, okra, and chunks of meat, often veal. It’s creamy and flavorful.
  • Bosanski Lonac : A traditional Bosnian dish, Bosanski Lonac is a slow-cooked pot of meat and vegetables, often cooked in clay pots for a rich, savory flavor.
  • Sogan-dolma : Stuffed onions with a mixture of meat and rice, served with a tomato-based sauce and yogurt.
  • Bosanski Ćuftu : These Bosnian meatballs are typically made from a mixture of beef and lamb and are seasoned with herbs and spices.
  • Pita : A baked phyllo pastry, similar to burek but in a round pie shape. It can be filled with a variety of ingredients, including cheese, potatoes, and spinach.
  • Japrak : Grape leaves stuffed with a mixture of minced meat, rice, and herbs, then cooked in a tomato-based sauce.
  • Tufahija : A traditional Bosnian dessert made with poached apples stuffed with walnuts and sugar, topped with whipped cream.
  • Hurmasica : Small, sweet, and syrup-soaked pastries, often served as a dessert.
  • Baklava : A sweet pastry made from layers of filo dough, filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with honey or syrup.
  • Kadaif : A dessert made from fine, shredded pastry soaked in syrup and typically layered with chopped nuts.
  • Raštika : A delicious Bosnian dish made with fermented cabbage and smoked meat, often served with mashed potatoes.
  • Sogan-dolma : Onions stuffed with a flavorful mixture of meat and rice, served with a tomato-based sauce and yogurt.
  • Pilav : A rice dish often cooked with vegetables and spices, served as a side or as a main course.
  • Rakija : A strong fruit brandy that is a popular traditional drink in the region. It’s often offered as a gesture of hospitality.
  • Bosnian Coffee : Enjoy a cup of Bosnian coffee, which is similar to Turkish coffee, and is often served with a sweet treat.
  • Rasol : A traditional Bosnian pickle made from fermented cabbage, served as a condiment or side dish.

Bosnian cuisine is rich and diverse, offering a unique culinary experience for tourists. Don’t forget to pair your meal with local wines or a cup of traditional Bosnian coffee for an authentic dining experience.

What to See? 🔍

Bosnia and Herzegovina boasts a rich tapestry of history, stunning landscapes, and cultural gems. As a tourist, there are many must-see places that offer a diverse and enriching experience. Here are some of the top destinations:

  • Sarajevo : The capital city is a historical and cultural hub, known for its mix of Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and Yugoslavian influences. Explore the Old Bazaar (Baščaršija), the Latin Bridge, and the Sarajevo Tunnel Museum.
  • Mostar : Famous for its iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge), Mostar is a picturesque town with a beautiful old town center. Witness daredevil divers jump from the bridge into the Neretva River.
  • Blagaj : Visit the stunning Blagaj Tekija, a 16th-century Dervish monastery situated beside the Buna River spring. The site is an architectural marvel set against a dramatic backdrop.
  • Jajce : Discover the charming town of Jajce, where you can see the famous Pliva Waterfall and the ruins of a medieval fortress.
  • Medjugorje : A significant religious site, Medjugorje attracts pilgrims from around the world who come to visit the site of reported Marian apparitions.
  • Banja Luka : The second-largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, known for its parks, riverbanks, and historical sites, including Kastel Fortress.
  • Visegrad : This town is famous for the historic Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge, an Ottoman-era stone bridge that inspired Nobel laureate Ivo Andrić’s novel, “The Bridge on the Drina.”
  • Tuzla : Explore the city’s multicultural heritage, visit the Pannonian Lakes, and discover the unique Salt Museum.
  • Travnik : A well-preserved Ottoman town, Travnik is known for its picturesque old town and the historic Suleiman’s Mosque.
  • Konjic : Experience the enchanting scenery, go white-water rafting on the Neretva River, and explore the nearby underground bunker built during the Cold War.
  • Počitelj : This medieval town boasts well-preserved Ottoman architecture and the iconic clock tower. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Una National Park : A pristine natural area with the stunning Una River, waterfalls, and opportunities for outdoor activities like rafting and hiking.
  • Kozara National Park : A serene natural escape with lush forests, meadows, and hiking trails, known for its historical significance from World War II.
  • Kravice Waterfalls : These cascading waterfalls near Ljubuški are a beautiful natural attraction where you can swim and enjoy the surrounding greenery.
  • Neum : The only coastal town in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Neum offers access to the Adriatic Sea and nearby beach areas.
  • Vrelo Bosne : Explore the lush park with crystal-clear springs and streams located near Sarajevo, a popular spot for picnics and leisurely walks.
  • Kupres : A mountainous area with ski resorts in the winter and beautiful landscapes for hiking and outdoor activities in the summer.
  • Trebinje : A picturesque town in Herzegovina, known for its well-preserved historic buildings and scenic surroundings.

These are just a few of the must-see places in Bosnia and Herzegovina, each offering a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re interested in exploring historical sites, immersing yourself in local culture, or enjoying the stunning landscapes, Bosnia and Herzegovina has something to offer every type of traveler.

What to Do? 📸

Bosnia and Herzegovina offers a wide range of activities and experiences for tourists. Here are some must-do things to make the most of your visit to this fascinating country:

  • Explore Sarajevo’s Old Bazaar : Wander through Baščaršija, Sarajevo’s historic Ottoman bazaar, where you can shop for souvenirs, savor local cuisine, and soak up the ambiance.
  • Visit Stari Most in Mostar : Witness the breathtaking Stari Most (Old Bridge) and watch daring divers leap from its heights into the Neretva River.
  • Try Bosnian Coffee : Enjoy a cup of traditional Bosnian coffee at a local café. It’s similar to Turkish coffee and often served with a cube of sugar.
  • Learn About Recent History : Visit the Sarajevo Tunnel Museum to gain insights into the Bosnian War and the city’s resilience during the conflict.
  • Attend a Bosnian Music or Dance Performance : Experience the vibrant local music and dance traditions, which often blend various cultural influences.
  • Rafting on the Neretva River : Take an adrenaline-pumping white-water rafting trip down the Neretva River, especially in the Konjic area.
  • Hike in the Dinaric Alps : The country’s mountainous regions offer stunning hiking trails and breathtaking vistas. Trek to spots like Lukomir or hike in the Sutjeska National Park.
  • Visit Historical Mosques and Churches : Explore the rich religious heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina by visiting its mosques, churches, and monasteries, such as Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Mostar.
  • Savor Traditional Bosnian Cuisine : Indulge in local dishes like ćevapi, burek, and begova čorba. Don’t forget to try baklava and traditional Bosnian coffee.
  • Participate in a Bosnian Cooking Class : Learn how to prepare some of the country’s most famous dishes and immerse yourself in the local culinary culture.
  • Relax in Natural Springs and Thermal Baths : Bosnia and Herzegovina has a variety of natural springs and thermal baths, including the Plava Voda in Travnik.
  • Visit Historical Castles and Fortresses : Explore medieval castles and fortresses like the Travnik Fortress, Jajce Fortress, and Kastel Fortress in Banja Luka.
  • Join a Walking Tour : Take a guided walking tour in cities like Sarajevo and Mostar to learn about the history, culture, and traditions from a local expert.
  • Experience Traditional Markets : Wander through local markets, where you can buy handmade crafts, traditional clothing, and local products.
  • Attend a Cultural Festival : Check the local calendar for festivals and events that celebrate Bosnian culture, music, and traditions.
  • Explore Bihac and Una National Park : Discover the stunning Una River and its waterfalls, with options for kayaking and river activities.
  • Visit Art Galleries : Explore contemporary and traditional Bosnian art at museums and galleries in cities like Sarajevo and Mostar.
  • Engage in Outdoor Adventure : Enjoy outdoor activities like biking, hiking, and rock climbing in the picturesque landscapes.
  • Discover Medieval Stećak Tombstones : Visit the UNESCO-listed medieval tombstones known as “stećak” in Radimlja and other locations.
  • Stroll along the Drina River : Take a relaxing walk along the Drina River near Višegrad, where you can admire the views and the impressive bridge.

These activities will allow you to experience the diverse cultural, historical, and natural wonders that Bosnia and Herzegovina has to offer, ensuring a memorable and enriching visit.

Culture and Safety 🦺

When traveling to Bosnia and Herzegovina as a tourist, it’s important to understand the culture and take safety precautions to ensure a pleasant and enjoyable experience. Here are some insights into the culture and safety considerations:

  • Respect Local Customs : Bosnian culture is diverse and influenced by a mix of Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and Yugoslavian traditions. It’s essential to respect local customs and traditions. Greeting people with a friendly “Dobar dan” (good day) and showing courtesy is appreciated.
  • Language : The official languages are Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian. Learning a few basic phrases in the local language can be a sign of respect and may enhance your interactions with locals.
  • Religious Tolerance : Bosnia and Herzegovina is a multicultural and multi-religious society. People of various religious backgrounds coexist, including Muslims, Orthodox Christians, Catholics, and Jews. Respect places of worship and religious practices.
  • Dress Modestly : In more conservative areas and religious sites, it’s advisable to dress modestly. This means covering your shoulders and knees, especially for women.
  • Currency : The currency is the Convertible Mark (BAM). Credit cards are widely accepted in urban areas, but it’s a good idea to carry some cash in smaller towns and rural areas.
  • Photography : Always ask for permission before taking photos of people, especially in rural areas and when photographing religious sites.
  • Tipping : Tipping is customary in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In restaurants, it’s common to leave a tip of around 10% of the bill. For other services, such as guided tours, you can tip at your discretion.
  • Bosnian Coffee : Coffee culture is an important part of Bosnian life. Enjoying Bosnian coffee is a social tradition. Take your time and savor it with locals.
  • Health Precautions : Ensure your routine vaccinations are up to date and consult a healthcare professional for guidance on any additional vaccinations. Be cautious about water quality, and consider drinking bottled water.
  • Altitude : Some regions in Bosnia and Herzegovina are at high altitudes. If you plan to explore mountainous areas, be aware of altitude sickness and take time to acclimatize.
  • Travel Insurance : It’s essential to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and evacuations.
  • Road Safety : Be cautious when driving, as road conditions can vary. Mountain roads can be steep and winding, so drive with care. Watch for wildlife on the roads, especially in rural areas.
  • Weather Conditions : Bosnia and Herzegovina experiences diverse weather conditions. Be prepared for changing weather and pack accordingly, especially in the mountains.
  • Emergency Contacts : Familiarize yourself with local emergency numbers, including the nearest embassy or consulate, in case of emergencies.
  • Travel Advisory : Check for travel advisories from your government before your trip, as situations can change.
  • Cultural Sensitivity : Be sensitive to the complex history and recent conflicts. While it’s acceptable to ask about the country’s history, some topics may still be emotionally charged. Approach such discussions with empathy and respect.
  • Avoid Landmines : Some areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina may still have undiscovered landmines. Stick to established paths and avoid venturing off-trail in rural areas.
  • Travel Documentation : Ensure you have all the necessary travel documents, including your passport and any required visas.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country with a rich cultural tapestry and a complex history. By respecting local customs and taking safety precautions, you can have a rewarding and memorable travel experience in this unique destination.

In conclusion, a visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina is an enriching experience that combines the warmth of its people, a complex history, and a stunning natural backdrop. From its resilient cities to its unspoiled wilderness, this Balkan gem offers a unique and immersive journey. Whether you’re strolling through the historic streets of Sarajevo, exploring ancient Ottoman architecture, or discovering the natural wonders of Plitvice Lakes, Bosnia and Herzegovina promises to leave an indelible mark on your travel memories. Come and embrace the charm, culture, and hospitality of this captivating destination in the heart of the Balkans.

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17 BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA TRAVEL TIPS: What to Know Before You Go!

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The Balkans are quickly becoming a trending destination for intrepid travelers, with some countries — like Serbia , Croatia, and Montenegro —becoming the most popular destinations.

Which is fantastic if you plan to visit them, but not so great if you want to travel to places that are more off the beaten path, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina!

When we planned our trip to BiH, I was surprised at the lack of blog posts and articles, especially on destinations that are outside of the capital, like Blagaj or Jajce (two of my new favorite places!)

After traveling around the country for a month, checking out all the awesome attractions, and making a few mistakes along the way, I decided to write this mini resource for those who want to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina but don’t know where to start. 

These Bosnia and Herzegovina travel tips include everything you need to know, from money to safety, customs, transportation, accommodations, and other interesting tidbits of information. In a nutshell, these are all of the things to know before visiting Bosnia for the first time.

Ready? Let’s check it out!

1 – There’s no war anymore… 


Before we get started with everything else on this list, let’s get this (very important) fact out of the way first. 

Unfortunately, the first thing that many people associate with Bosnia and Herzegovina is the war that happened right after Yugoslavia fell apart in the mid-1990’s. You may have heard about it, seen the Yugoslav Wars on TV, or even read about it in your history books . 

However, the war was finished quite a while ago — at the end of 1995! — and it is completely safe to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

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3 – Waterfalls, ski resorts, lakes, and more!

Speaking of nature… Bosnia and Herzegovina i s one of the most up-and-coming tourist destinations, especially for those who love nature. 

If you’re still planning out your itinerary, check out one (or all!) of these amazing natural destinations in Bosnia: 

Jajce — Waterfalls that are contenders for a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Blagaj   — A Dervish house nestled next to a spring and, arguably, one of the most beautiful places in Bosnia 

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Počitelj — Just a quick drive from Mostar is this historic open air museum / village, featuring Ottoman architecture and stunning views along a karst

Bihać — Located on the banks of the Una River, Bihać is full of resorts and activities in nature 

Neum — The only coastal town in BiH, Neum packs a lot into its 20 km (12 mi) of coastline

Jahorina — Nestled above Sarajevo, Jahorina is the most popular ski resort in the country and even hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics!  

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4 – A Very Easy Conversion

Psst… Want to know a really easy life hack? 
2 KM is 1 EUR :) 

The Bosnian Convertible Mark (shortened to KM) is officially pegged to the Euro to make it easier to keep track of currency exchanges. 

However, the Euro is widely used in restaurants, shops, and hotels all around Bosnia, so it doesn’t hurt to ask if you can pay in EUR if you’re running out of KMs.

Now you’re ready to go out there and buy souvenirs without having to do a bunch of mental math! 

5 – Your Credit Card Will Collect Dust

Since we’re on the topic of currency, I’m going to be honest and say that Bosnia and Herzegovina is the country where I used my credit card the least. 

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This is especially true in most cities outside of the capital (Sarajevo), as well as Sarajevo’s Old Town. Interestingly enough, there were a handful of restaurants (outside the Old Town) and a majority of grocery stores that took my credit card.

Before you travel to Bosnia, I highly highly highly recommend taking plenty of cash (such as USD or EUR bills) to exchange into KM or signing up for a card that has no foreign ATM fees (like Charles Schwab!) and taking out money when you arrive. 

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6 – Be Careful of Cash Only Accommodations 

This is slightly related to what I said about the ‘cash only’ policy above, but it’s so important that it needs its own point :)

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The easiest way to check if a place is cash-only is to scroll all the way to the bottom of Booking.com and under ‘House rules’ it’ll note the payment policy of the property. Typically, the majority of guesthouses and apartments are cash only, while hotels can be hit or miss. 

Looking for credit card-friendly accommodations? Check out Ibis Styles , Astra Old Town , Hotel President .

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7 – Book Activities Ahead Ok ok, one last point about cash before you guys start rebelling in the comments

 If you’re low on paper bills or have high ATM fees yet still want to learn about the country, I highly recommend booking all of your tours through an online marketplace like GetYourGuide. We did this with our day trip to Jajce and were so glad that we did! 

Here are some of the top tours in Bosnia & Herzegovina: 

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8 – The Country with the Three Presidents 

And now for something completely different (and, frankly, a little wild). 😌

One thing that I was surprised to learn about Bosnia & Herzegovina is that it has three presidents.

Yes, you read that right: there are three official presidents in the country! And no, I’m not trolling you — here’s the official Wikipedia article so you can see for yourself.  

Each constituent group in Bosnia & Herzegovina  — Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs — picks one president to represent them for four years. 

But Luda, how can anything get done with three presidents in power? 

To which I reply, dear reader: Does anything really get done with one president in other countries? (Joking, joking) 

While I’m not a political commentator and can’t go into much detail, our Jajce tour guide (see #7 above) said that the presidents rotate every couple of months. Isn’t that interesting? 

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9 – Bosnia and Herzegovina is Rich in Diversity and Religion 

Since we’ve touched a bit about the demographics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, let’s dive a little further!

Like I mentioned, Bosnia is very diverse, especially when you consider that about 50% of the population are Muslim, 30% are Eastern Orthodox, and 15% are Catholic. 

In fact, it’s not surprising to see a mosque and a church on the same block.

The country also tends to celebrate holidays from all three religions, including Ramadan, Christmas (both on December 25 and January 7), and New Years. If you’re visiting during a holiday period, be sure to check out the Sarajevo Ramadan Festival or the Sarajevo Holiday Market (an open air Christmas market similar to those in Europe). 

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10 – Apartments, Hotels, or Guesthouses? 

Just like other Balkan countries (such as Montenegro ), you’ll see a lot of guesthouses, apartments, and B&Bs (bed and breakfasts) being offered as a form of accommodation. 

In fact, you’ll most likely stay in one! 

This is because big chain hotels haven’t made their way to Bosnia & Herzegovina yet (unless you count the Swissotel or Courtyard by Marriott in Sarajevo). However, the demand for a place to stay has gone up in recent years, which is why there are dozens of smaller independent hotels and short-term rentals. 

Budget-friendly travelers can save some money by opting to reserve an apartment or a room in a guest house (versus a hotel). Another bonus is that guesthouses typically offer complimentary breakfast, while apartments have all of the convenient amenities of a typical home (such as a kitchen or washing machine — perfect for long-term travel!) 

Still didn’t book an accommodation in Bosnia? Check out my 25 Unique Hotels in Bosnia & Herzegovina blog post or see popular hostels , guesthouses , and apartments  here!  

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11 – Don’t visit Mostar… 

… on a day trip ;) 

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Although it’s only a 2-hour drive from Dubrovnik (Croatia), Sarajevo (Bosnia’s capital), or 3 hours from Kotor (Montenegro), Mostar really deserves more time than just a few hours of your time.  

There are two reasons why: first, the day trippers usually leave by evening, which means you can explore the city without the hordes of crowds. If you’re an early bird, you can also wake up around sunrise and have Mostar’s most famous attractions (including the Old Town and Stari Most) all to yourself! 

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12 – Did You Know That Bosnia Has One of the Most Beautiful Train Rides in Europe? 

While we’re on the topic of Mostar, I have one last tip for this region.

If you’re planning to travel to Mostar, I highly recommend doing the trip via the Sarajevo to Mostar route (or vice versa). That’s because this route has one of the most beautiful (and underrated!) train rides in Europe. Although the tip is only 2 hours long, you’ll get to see emerald green rivers, cute little villages, and lush mountains peeking behind lush forests.

Bonus: the train (sometimes) has WiFi, although I’m sure you won’t need it with views like the ones mentioned above. :)

If the train doesn’t work out, there’s also the Sarajevo to Mostar bus, which is slightly longer (2.5 hours) but has very similar views. 

Planning a trip between Sarajevo to Mostar? Check out my in-depth guide here , including train and bus timetables, rental car tips, and more. 

13 – Coffee is an Important Ritual in Bosnia — Here’s How to Properly Drink It!

Did you know that Bosnia & Herzegovina is the 11th most coffee consuming nation in the world? That’s right: each citizen drinks about 6.1 kg (13 lb) of coffee per person per year, and drinking coffee is considered to be a time-honored tradition that spans centuries! 

Although the coffee is similar to that of Turkish coffee, locals would argue that the method is slightly different (and the taste is better, but that’s up to you to decide!) 

Bosnian coffee is typically prepared by adding hot water and ground coffee to a džezva (a special pot with a high neck and handle ) and boiled until the foam starts to rise. Then the džezva is taken off the heat so that the foam goes down, put back on the burner, and repeated two or three more times until it’s ready!

When ordering Bosnian coffee, you’ll typically get the following items, all neatly placed on a plate: The džezva with coffee, small cups to drink from, a container with sugar cubes, glasses of water, and often something sweet (typically a cube of rahat lokum ).  

Now you’re probably wondering, Ok, this looks delicious… but what’s the proper way to drink Bosnian coffee?

There are a few ways, but the most common is to take a little foam from the top of the džezva pot and pour some coffee into your cup, while adding the scooped foam at the end (the foam gives it that little extra kick!). Most locals will take a sugar cube and either put it under their tongue, or take small bites between sips. 

However, no matter how you drink your Bosnian coffee, there’s one very specific way not to drink it — don’t drink the coffee sludge at the bottom of the džezva, or else you’ll get a mouthful of very bitter grounds! 

Since you might also be interested in where to find the best coffee in Bosnia, I’ve compiled a few of my favorites in Sarajevo. I recommend starting at Caffe Bar ANDAR , as they include a little instruction manual on how to properly drink Bosnian coffee. It also has a very interesting history that’s reflected in its interior decor and atmosphere. :) 

Ministry of Ćejf is another great cafe that’s just a minute away from the center of Baščaršija and offers delicious desserts in addition to great coffee. If you’ve fallen in love with Bosnian coffee and want to buy your own džezva, I highly recommend going across the street (to Kovači 19) and buying it from Nermina, a female coppersmith who makes gorgeous works of art!

TRAVEL TIP: If you’re traveling to Tranvik, be sure to stop by Lutvina Kahva. Besides the beautiful setting next to a waterfall, this cafe has a very interesting house special — Bosnian coffee with a cigarette on the side! 

herzegovina travel

14 – Interesting local words If you’re like me and love learning local phrases or untranslatable words (*ahem* Hygge ), then you’ll have a great time in Bosnia. The whole language is full of beautiful expressions and melodic words! Here are some of my favorites: 

Cejf — Remember the Ministry of Cejf cafe above? This word means an (enjoyable) quirk or habit that you have that must be done in a specific order. For example, if you have a particular way of making the perfect cup of coffee or any traditions that you have while flying (mine is the typical Russian superstition of sitting on my luggage for a few minutes before heading to the airport!)

Sevdah — feeling of longing for someone or somewhere, but with a hint of melancholy. This is also similar to the word toska in Russian.

Fajda – Something useful 

Merhamet (male) / merhametli (female) – A person who has an aura of kindness

Rahatluk – A state of being happy and carefree

herzegovina travel

Sikteruša – Literally, ‘Go away coffee.’ This happens when an unwelcome guest comes and you make them coffee (to be polite), but bad-ish coffee so they leave earlier.

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15 – Souvenirs to buy

Traditional rug – If you’re into art and beautiful centerpieces, then you’ll love Bosnia’s traditional carpets. The carpet style is called kilim and have bright colors, geometric patterns, and ornate designs in a variety of different sizes. 

Bosnian coffee set – If you fell in love with Bosnia’s coffee culture, why not buy yourself a set to make a cup at home and impress your friends? A typical set includes the ​​džezva (coffee pot), sugar holder, cups (typically two to four, although you can ask for more), and a platter to hold it all. 

You can find copper coffee sets sold in nearly every big city, but be careful: not all of the sets are hand-made by local artisans, and there are many cheap knockoffs that were made in factories overseas. 

If you want to support Bosnian coppersmiths, I recommend visiting the Kovači ulica (which literally translates to Blacksmiths Street) in Sarajevo and buying from there. I had the pleasure of making a ​​džezva from scratch with Nermina, the last female coppersmith in the city. Her shop is located at Kovači 19 and, besides making beautiful copper goods, she’s very friendly and has a lot of interesting stories (she created the flame torch for the European Youth Olympics recently!)

However, there’s no point of having a coffee set if it’s missing the key ingredient: coffee! Which is a good transition to the next gift… 

Although there are a handful of great coffee brands sold in Bosnia, our guide’s favorite was Zlatna Dzezva (which, coincidentally, is the most popular brand in the country). However, I also saw Franck Jubilarna and Grand Gold Kava  on shelves as well.

Other popular Bosnian souvenirs include hand-knitted socks , a zvekir motif (the large metal door knocker in traditional Bosnian homes), and local jewelry . 

If you’re planning to travel around the country, you’ll be surprised and delighted at how many local specialties there are — which, by the way, also make fantastic souvenirs! For example, the town of Konjic is one of the oldest settlements in the country and famous for its traditional wood carvings. There are a handful of local artisans who make beautiful craft from wood. 

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16 – Europe’s Last Rainforest

Did you know that Bosnia has o ne of the biggest (and last) rainforests in Europe?

It’s true! Perućica Forest Reserve, located in southeastern Bosnia & Herzegovina, has an area of about 3,500 acres and is part of the larger Sutjeska National Park. It’s so unique that even UNESCO added Perucica to its tentative list of World Heritage Sites! 

There are so many interesting facts about Perucic: it’s home to the 98 meter-high Skakavac Waterfall, the highest waterfall in the country (and second-highest in Europe!), as well as nearly 200 species of trees and 1,000+ species of plants, many of which are native to the area.

However, what really surprised me was that in some parts of the forest, it’s almost impossible to walk through due to the overgrown plants and bushes and can only be done so with an experienced tour guide or ranger.

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17 – Mostar Bridge Divers

I’ve covered practical basics and useful travel tips, from transportation to accommodations, money, and what to see on your trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina, so I’ll leave you with an interesting tidbit for this last point. 

You might have heard of the Old Bridge in Mostar — or are planning to visit it! —  but did you know that it has one of the oldest traditions in the country that’s still practiced to this day?

Back in the 1600s, local boys would jump off the bridge and into the water below as a rite of passage, and those who couldn’t would be a failure in life (pretty harsh, no?) 

Although nowadays this rite of passage isn’t enforced, there are still professional bridge divers that make the 20-meter jump almost every day. 

Typically, Mostar bridge divers wait until they draw enough of a crowd (and around 50 EUR in tips) before they’ll perform their famous dive. Depending on the season, these bridge divers can make multiple jumps in a day!

What’s more, adventurous travelers can try out bridge diving for themselves — all you need to do is make an appointment at the bridge diver’s club right next to the bridge, pay the fee, do a few practice runs, and voila! After you successfully do the jump, you’ll get a certificate and have your name recorded in the club’s record book. :)

Photo Credits: Mine warning sign – Julian Nyča | Bosnian money – Tyler Rossi | Perucica Forest – 00cska00 (Wikipedia) | Hotels – respective hotels 

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2 thoughts on “ 17 bosnia & herzegovina travel tips: what to know before you go ”.

Local words written here tend to be of Turkish origin (or Arabic origin that came into Bosnian through Turkish). Sikteruša in Bosnian does mean “go away coffee”, but the part “go away” or “sikter” in Turkish means….well it is more like “get the F outta here”-you know what F stands for. It’s somewhat tamed around there :)

Ahh you’re right! I’m learning Turkish right now and I can’t believe I didn’t make the connection 😅 Thank you for that insight!

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Passing Thru - For the Curious and Thoughtful Traveler

Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel Guide for First Timers

By: Author Betsy Wuebker

Use our Bosnia and Herzegovina travel guide for first timers for ideas and context. Our trip to Bosnia made it one of our favorite destinations.

So there we were, catching an airless bus out of Dubrovnik . Rumbling toward a place called Neum on a tiny finger of territory 20 kilometers long. This is the spit which gives modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina its legal access to the Adriatic sea. We didn’t know what to think.

essential guide bosnia and herzegovina scenes from mostar and sarajevo

When they heard we were going to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina, some people thought we were nuts. (Nothing new there.) Others asked if our Bosnia travel plan really was “safe.”

When we got there, at least one Bosnian wondered why we came at all. Apparently, Bosnia and Herzegovina trips aren’t all that common for Americans. But now that we’ve been, we want to return. This Bosnia and Herzegovina travel blog post will help you understand why.

This article contains affiliate links and/or references to our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on or make a purchase using these links.

Table of Contents

Bosnia travel to Mostar

Ten things we couldn’t leave out of our Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel Guide for first timers:

1. getting in and out might seem a little difficult, but it’s really nothing to worry about..

As it turned out, we had a lot of time to think during our trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Getting in and around this part of the former Yugoslavia, and then out, takes a while. If you’re planning to travel to Bosnia, we recommend going by surface, actually.

Note: If you are planning a day trip from Croatia to Bosnia, check out my post Dubrovnik to Bosnia Day Trip: Easy Planning Guide

There’s always something better about an approach at ground level, seeing your destination mirage in the distance, drawing nearer to the moment when outskirts give way to the reality of place. It beats dropping in from the sky to have a look around and then jumping back out.

Be ready for thorough border processing at border crossings. You will be perused and your documents will be scanned a couple of times – coming out of wherever you came from and coming in. If you’re self-driving, be prepared for a much longer line at the checkpoints than if you’re on one of the international buses.

We just bought regular public transport tickets to Mostar at the Dubrovnik station. Online ticketing? Sorry, not available at that time. Mostar to Sarajevo? Same deal, pay in cash at the station in Mostar. Buses are frequent, amenities are hit and miss. Announcements we couldn’t understand were kindly translated by fellow travelers. Yep, they could probably tell by looking at us that we might need a little extra help. We felt rather solicitously cared for, as Americans of a “certain age.”

If you want a cushier experience getting to and seeing Mostar, you might want to sign on for a tour, particularly if you are coming from Croatia. Because this destination is one of the top things to experience from there, you will find a variety of experiences from which to choose:

travel to bosnia and herzegovina: sarajevo

You may want to look around for alternative transport options if you’re leaving Sarajevo, as we did. An independent van company we saw in a newspaper ad ended up offering a much more comfortable, air-conditioned experience at a fraction of the price on that leg.

We just needed to be willing to accept an indeterminate departure: the van would leave when its passenger quota was filled. No worries.

We checked out of our hotel, the kind young man at the front desk made several phone calls to confirm and reconfirm departure, and ran outside to help us with luggage when the van finally did arrive.

2. There’s a difference between Bosnians and Bosniaks.

Bosnia k s are an ethnic group. Bosnia n s are a nationality. Political affiliations have historically occurred along religious and ethnic lines: Bosnian Muslims, Serb Orthodox Christians, and Croat Catholics.

Travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina: 10 Things We Learned

In the 1970s a political elite emerged via diplomatic service and Yugoslavia’s membership in the Non-Aligned Movement . After the death of Josip Broz Tito in 1980 and the demise of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia’s individual nationalistic groups vied throughout the western Balkans for influence.

In the Bosnian National Assembly, ethnic tensions boiled over in a clash of attitudes favoring independence vs. remaining in the Yugoslav federation. Bosnian Serbs favored the federation, and independence was desired by Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats. This led to the Bosnian war in the early 1990s.

Today, the capital city of Sarajevo is often referred to as the “Jerusalem of Europe.” We found its multi-cultural atmosphere the most unique in all the capitals we have visited. Over the centuries, its status as a religious and political crossroads for conflict has been proven time and time again.

One of the best things to do in upon arrival is take a Sarajevo city tour. One of the Sarajevo walking tours will help you get oriented and plan your stay. Each of your senses will be impacted with the sights, sounds, and aromas of beautiful buildings, thriving outdoor markets, exotic foods and goods, and the regular calls to religious prayer.

3. Bosnia and Herzegovina may require more cash than you anticipated. Here’s why:

After World War II, when Tito and his partisans formed the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina was one of its six constituents. Up until 1992, Bosnia was prosperous: military defense industry and multi-national corporate presence brought economic strength. An upwardly-mobile Bosnian might have worked at Volkswagen, Coca-Cola, Marlboro, Holiday Inn, or been involved with the 1984 Olympic Winter Games.

Then war devastated the Bosnian economy and destroyed its physical infrastructure. Its GDP essentially collapsed, free falling by 60%. Much of the country’s production has yet to be restored. Unemployment is close to 40%, with no sign of real stimulus affecting political and economic inertia.

Travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina: 10 Things We Learned

As you might expect with such conditions, there is a great deal of ingenious economic maneuvering. One of those is a free walking tour of Sarajevo. Our guide walked us through Sarajevo and revealed that while he held multiple graduate degrees in political science and diplomatic relations, he couldn’t find a job. Instead, he formed his Sarajevo walking tour company. With about 20 people in his tour that day, we estimated tips-only income might have equated to about $50 per hour. Paid in cash, of course.

We took several cash-only Sarajevo tours having discovered them only with the help of our Sarajevo hotel desk clerk. If you prefer to use a credit card and plan slightly in advance, there are variety of tours out of both Dubrovnik and Sarajevo that you can now book online .

The independent Bosnia and Herzegovina hotels at which we stayed either took only cash or had to be persuaded to accept payment by credit card. Whether this was due to an erratic banking environment or other bookkeeping-related reasons, we couldn’t say.

But it all worked out and we would not hesitate to stay again with our Sarajevo accommodation  Hotel Latinski Most . Clean and comfortable, the suggestions and help from the staff are what made our Sarajevo stay superb.

button check availability for hotel latinski most 1

Smaller businesses and restaurants were cash-only operations as well. ATMs are plentiful, and our U.S. debit cards worked just fine.

4. The scale of famous places to visit in Bosnia and distances may be different than you expect. 

In the middle of Neum, our bus made a hard right, zig-zagging up and away toward Mostar. As the crow flies (across Google Maps) it’s not that great a distance between the two, less than 90km. Traffic, road conditions, and struggling uphill were bus-related challenges that led to a journey of more than 3 hours.

Travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina: mountain district by Bjelasnica

We could look across the river from our Sarajevo hotel to the place where the Archduke was assassinated . Somehow, we’d expected it to be a big plaza, where the assassins could have hidden in enormous crowds. It wasn’t; it was just a tiny nondescript little street corner with an old bridge next to it.

Bosnia travel Sarajevo Latin Bridge

The hills from which Serbian forces fired on the streets of Sarajevo in the early 90s seemed all too close; the airport where the UN airlift off-loaded life-saving supplies is only a couple of kilometers from the city center.

traveling to Sarajevo passengers waiting for streetcar

The fresh market where 68 people were killed and 200 wounded by an artillery shell , a tipping point which led to NATO air strikes, is no larger than our favorite open-air market on the island of Kauai. Sarajevo’s market was open-air then, too. Now it has a protective roof and business goes on with the memories.

Travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina: 10 Things We Learned

5. Is it safe to travel to Bosnia (2023)? Yes, the Bosnian war has been over for decades. That said, evidence of war is easy to see. 

Now might be just the best time to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina. The war has been over for decades and the energy in the country is positive. Your Bosnia travel itinerary can be more free and flexible than ever.

Background: Between 1990 and 1992, sovereignty was declared by various entities in the region and boycotted by others. An independence referendum was held with 63% turnout and 99.7% in favor; Serb nationalists didn’t vote at all. As admittance into the United Nations became pending in 1992, tensions escalated.

Neum, the little coastal town in which our bus turned inland, took artillery fire from Serb positions in March that year. A month later, a Serb attack on Sarajevo’s peace rally is the moment that is generally agreed catalyzed open warfare between the three major ethnic communities.

Bosniak civilians were targeted in all major cities, captured and displaced by Bosnian Serb forces and sympathizers. Both Serbian and Croatian interests sought to expand their respective borders. When government-sanctioned warfare began in 1993, non-Serbs suffered civil rights violations and ethnic cleansing, such as occurred in the Srebrenica massacre. The town of Srebrenica is located in what is now known as Republika Srpska, sister entity to the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This genocide elicited a response from the United States and the international community in the form of a NATO bombing campaign while Croat and Bosnian allies pushed back against the Serbs. In 1995, by agreement between representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia, the fighting stopped, with NATO peacekeeping forces deployed and eventually peace talks restoring a fairly civil society.

Travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina: 10 Things We Learned

As we awaited dinner on our first night in Mostar (which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site), we picked up a coffee table-sized photography book at an adjacent restaurant table. Its images were taken during and right after the war.

The city was leveled, the beautiful Stari Most spanning the Neretva River, and the main mosque below it destroyed. The book itself was tattered, with a vintage aspect. We had to keep reminding ourselves that these events were younger than our children, whose childhoods seem like yesterday. 

Mostar Stari Most

We sought the perspective of our two young Bosnia guides in Sarajevo, and asked is Bosnia and Herzegovina safe to visit.

The first had spent the war years, which began when he was seven years old, attending a makeshift school in the basement of his apartment building. His teachers risked their lives to get to their students. His mother walked several kilometers to work, always in high heels: she “wanted to look good if today were to be her last.”

The second had spent childhood in Vienna with relatives who took his family in when the war broke out. No one ever expected things to endure over four years.

Both young men felt it was necessary to move on from the past; both acknowledged that personal losses might prove this impossible for others. They were both glad to see more Europeans taking Bosnia and Herzegovina vacations.

While this may be the best time to travel to Bosnia in over two decades, they accepted that political opinions vary in opposite directions depending upon whom you ask. These assessments were equal parts logic and forgiveness; we were humbled and impressed.

Sarajevo Bijela Tabijla

If you’re traveling to Bosnia, you may want to take a more meaningful deep dive into the war years with a guided tour which will take you to specific, prominent sites in Sarajevo. The perspective offered by your Bosnia tour guides who were personally impacted by the war will be sobering. As well, you will gain a better understanding of the issues which affect the country today.

The Sarajevo: Times of Misfortune bus tour begins with a panoramic view of the city from the White Fortress which sets the stage with background information as you go on to visit various places that figured prominently during the four-year  siege. Click here for more information and booking. You might find the Sarajevo: Balkans Dark Side and War Tour more geared to your particular interests and an increased understanding. This 5 out of 5 star reviewed tour takes a somewhat different approach with Skip the Line access to the Tunnel War Museum and Vidikovac viewing points. Click here for more information and booking.

Is Bosnia and Herzegovina safe for tourists who venture off the beaten path? “Official” sources warn that visiting Bosnia can be dangerous due to unexploded land mines and other residual ordnance. No doubt this is true. Certain areas are marked off-limits with forbidding signage. We encountered none.

Sarajevo war dead brass plaques

The country has had thirty years to make more highly trafficked areas safe for passage. If you stick to paved highways and urban locations when you travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina, you’ll be fine. Even our foray on dirt and forest roads into the mountains above Sarajevo where Olympic ski runs and infrastructure still serve winter sports enthusiasts was without incident or any evidence.

6. Politics in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Things have always been complicated here, and they still are. 

Eastern Europe has long been the place where religions and empires intersected. Clashes and power struggles, boundary fluctuations, and regime changes since the sixth century have permeated the Bosnian identity and landscape. We were amazed how little our history classes had covered Balkan wars and significant events dating back to medieval times which had occurred in this region. As well, the influences of different religious sects and ideology – from pagan to modern Christianity and Islam – have left their mark.

Bosnia has had human inhabitants since Neolithic times. In the early Middle Ages, slavic tribes formed a confederation in this region during the first Migration Period in the 6th and 7th centuries. Roman Emperor Constantine designated Bosnia as an administrative area in the 10th century. Two hundred years later, it was formally established as a politically autonomous state within the Hungarian Crown. What followed until approximately 1391 was a series of power struggles between two prominent clans, with skirmishes and territory annexations. Following a 70 year decline, it was then annexed by the Ottoman Empire in 1463.

tesanj

The Middle Ages are a fascinating period in this region. Thriving villages were protected by walled fortresses and natural geography. Tribal chieftains, Byzantine rulers, and Christian kings built imposing residences and added territory. Visit the medieval fortress at Tesanj, to which Bosnians refer as “the pearl of Bosnian tourism,” and the village of Vranduk and its citadel, which date to the 14th century, on the Age of Kings Tour from Sarajevo. Click here to book a day tour  to Tesanj and Vranduk from Sarajevo.

Bosniaks vranduk

For a look at the cultural impact of ancient Muslim mysticism in Herzegovina, you’ll want to visit Blagaj. Older than Mostar, Blagaj has a Dervish monastery built around 1520, at the height of the Ottoman Empire, in a combination of Ottoman and Mediterranean style. The location is the site of an Illyrian fortress; Roman villages surrounding it were built during the Justinian era. Blagaj was an important medieval fortress and political seat during the Ottoman Empire.

Click here to get information and book a private day trip to Blagaj and the Kravice waterfalls from Mostar.

Blagaj Ceilings

Today, there are multiple levels of political structure arising out of the 1990s war’s impact on the country’s ethnic groups. The national government is relatively weak, with decentralized decision-making in layers: geographic districts, cantons, municipalities and “official” cities. One of the main political objectives Bosnia and Herzegovina has at this time is integration within the European Union. Reforms are still in progress ahead of that affiliation.

oversize chess in Sarajevo park

Are practicalities in daily life affected by this complexity? Definitely. Rarely, we were told, does anything get done at satisfactory speed. Sometimes, it was shared, progress is made outside of requirements. Other times, projects are indefinitely halted. We can all relate how “decision by committee” affects outcomes. This is the mire within which attempts to better and modernize the country operate under the BIH authorities.

button check availability for sarajevo hotels

7. You’ll enjoy wonderful Bosnian coffee, but you need to know the 1-2-3 rule.

Bosnian coffee is world famous for good reason. It’s strong, but not muddy as other regional coffees (Turkish coffee, anyone?) can be. As is common in this part of the world, coffee culture includes ritual preparation and ceremonial enjoyment.

Should you be invited in for coffee with a new friend in Bosnia you must understand Bosnia coffee etiquette – the rule of 3: the first coffee is always one of welcome.

The second coffee is brewed and poured as the signal for intimate conversation concerning whatever subject is at hand. It is during the second coffee that you and your host strengthen your bond by understanding (but not necessarily agreeing with) each other.

The third brew and serving? It’s last call. You will enjoy it together, but you also know you’ve been given the nod that once finished, you’ll be on your way.

hammered metal ware in Mostar

8. The local Sarajevo beer is really good. 

Sarajevsko pivo has been brewed since 1864 in Sarajevo. Alert students of history will realize that the company was founded long before the decline of the Ottoman Empire’s hold over Bosnia. This disputes the notion that Islamic tradition and alcoholic beverages cannot co-exist.

Brewed with spring water from a source in the courtyard of the current building (which dates from 1893), this Sarajevo beer is a plucky little thirst quencher. We both liked it.

During the Siege of Sarajevo, citizens risked their lives under sniper fire to draw water from the brewery’s spring.

Sarajevo beer at the brewery in Sarajevo

9. A trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina will convince you this is one of the most visually beautiful places in the Balkans region.

The scenery holds its own here, the country’s topography and natural beauty is comprised of a pleasing combination of mountains, hills, turquoise rivers and flatlands. Climate is Mediterranean in the south, while inland in Central Bosnia you’ll get hot summers with cold and snowy winters.

About 50% of Bosnia is forested, with wildlife such as bears, wolves, boar,   deer, falcons, and the rare chamois. One of the only two remaining primeval forests in Europe, the Perucica Forest Reserve is located within the oldest of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s national parks, filled with natural resources.

lukomir mountain village

The famous Kravice waterfalls – known as Bosnia and Herzegovina’s “mini-Niagara” are a great day trip for scenic viewing, photography and swimming.

Click to arrange a private tour to Kravice from Mostar or to arrange a full day tour to Kravice from Sarajevo .

kravice waterfall

Not only is the geography scenic, but so is the evidence of man. Impossibly beautiful vistas with storybook qualities awaited us everywhere. We appreciated a meld of modern vibrancy and timelessness.

cutting hay in the mountains above Sarajevo

We also recognized that hardship meant the old ways might not live much longer. Our visit to Lukomir , the oldest and highest semi-nomadic village in the Dinaric Alps of Bosnia, remains one of the most memorable experiences we have had in all our travels. This is the only such village in Bosnia which was not destroyed by the Serbs in the 1990s war.

You can visit in the summer months from late May to early September, depending upon weather conditions. The village is located at very high altitude above the Bjelasnica Winter Olympics site on one of the numerous ranges near Sarajevo, so plan your attire accordingly. You will interact with locals, have a traditional meal and Bosnian coffee, and hike along the ridge of the Rakitnica Canyon, 800 meters deep.

This was our most memorable experience on our trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina. We highly recommend a tour visit to Lukomir.

Click here for more information and book your visit to Lukomir.

common water supply in mountain village: lukomir

10. Your dollar goes a very long way and is very welcome. Bosnia and Herzegovina travel is inexpensive by Western standards.

Bosnia and Herzegovina tourism and ecotourism is on the rise. The southern Alpine terrain has wilderness and natural assets which attract skiers, bikers, hikers, whitewater enthusiasts and mountaineers.

travel to bosnia and herzegovina bjelasnica olympic ski slope

Bosnia and Herzegovina has a rich history because it has been a cultural crossroads through the centuries. This provides a variety of architectural, religious, commercial, and interpersonal perspectives. Your dollar goes farther here than in neighboring Croatia and other Western Mediterranean and EU countries.

mostar enamelware in bazaar

We were welcomed with open arms and a generosity of spirit, with high levels of comfort at very affordable rates. This combination made for wonderful experiences in this beautiful country. The value of Bosnia & Herzegovina travel for first timers and repeat visitors alike is highly demonstrable by any measure. Why not consider it?

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Travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina for First Timers: 10 Things We Learned

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Masud Hannan

Saturday 9th of February 2019

Yes, Best blog on Bosnia. We are planning trip this summer. Can I rent a car from say Croatia or say Austria and travel to Mostar, Sarajevo etc. Are there cross border issues you are aware of. I plan to spend Two days in Bosnia. Thanks, Hannan

Betsy Wuebker

Monday 11th of February 2019

Hi Hannan - Yes, it's possible to rent a car in Croatia and take to Bosnia. Check with your rental agency for details.

23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe Recommended By Travelers | Solitary Wanderer

Thursday 9th of June 2016

[…] Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Passing Thru) […]

Wednesday 20th of April 2016

Kudos to you. Your blogs are great.....by far the most informative intelligent blogs I have read . You give so much insightful information and trust me I have read hundreds and hundreds of blogs.Great job

Hi Dani - Thank you so very much.

Thursday 17th of March 2016

Mostar for me was one of the most impactful places I've ever been! The clash of cultures is impressive, but I gotta say there is a weird athmosphere going on. It seems the city is still not with peace with itself!

Hi Bruno - Interesting that you would pick up on that vibe. We did sense uneasiness, but attributed it more to difficult economy and low tourism numbers. Bosnia and Herzegovina is struggling. The benefit to travelers is that our money goes farther and our presence is very much appreciated.

International Travel Safety Don'ts - A Baker's Dozen - Passing Thru

Monday 21st of December 2015

[…] other remote areas. We spent time in two cities, and kept on the road in the mountains. Therefore, we learned other things, including the war there has been over for 20 years and people are looking to the future. Imagine […]

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Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel Guide (2024)

Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel Guide (2024)

Welcome to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), a country where diverse cultures meet! Although it had a tumultuous past until the early 2000s, Bosnia and Herzegovina is now starting to attract tourists again. But not much is known about the country, so for someone interested in visiting, it can be a pain to even decide it is a good idea, let alone to get an idea about costs, safety, ease of getting around, sightseeing options and so on. Before I went there for the first time, I was in the same boat. I had no idea what to expect, and although I received warnings about the country’s safety, my travel experience was surprisingly peaceful and culturally satisfying. Oh, and people are super friendly!

In this Bosnia and Herzegovina travel guide, we’ll delve together into the intricate tapestry of this country, providing insights into its geography, cultural heritage, and outdoor adventures. From navigating transportation options to understanding local customs, the aim is to equip you with the knowledge needed to make the most of your travels in this captivating country.

General Information About Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in southeastern Europe and is bordered by Croatia to the north, west, and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast.

The official languages are Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian, reflecting its multicultural society. Although younger people tend to speak at least some level of English, older people are more familiar with Russian or German. Even if you’re sticking to tourist areas where people will be able to help you in English, you should still make an effort to learn a few basic phrases in Bosnian. Showing you at least tried is a great way to break down language and cultural barriers .

The official currency in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Convertible Mark and the capital city is Sarajevo.

When to Visit Bosnia and Herzegovina

When planning a trip to (BiH), it’s important to consider the seasonal variations in weather and climate to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience. BiH experiences distinct seasons, each offering unique opportunities for exploration and activities. Here are some seasonal considerations to keep in mind:

Spring (March to May):

  • BiH’s springtime offers pleasant weather and picturesque scenery, making it the perfect season for outdoor activities and sightseeing. As trees reclaim their leaves and flowers bloom, the countryside is filled with vibrant colors.
  • Since the weather is usually milder and the temperatures are lower than in the summer, spring is also an excellent season for hiking. Before the summer crowds arrive, take a walk to a waterfall like Kravica Waterfall or explore scenic trails in national parks like Sutjeska National Park.

Summer (June to August):

  • BiH’s summer months are the busiest travel times due to the pleasant weather and long, sunny days. It’s the ideal season for swimming in the sea, as well as in lakes and rivers, and touring historical and cultural landmarks.
  • During the summer, popular locations like Mostar, Sarajevo, and Jajce might get congested, so schedule your travels appropriately and reserve accommodation in advance, especially in popular tourist areas.
  • Remember that summers in Bosnia and Herzegovina can get quite warm; therefore, to ensure your comfort while traveling, bring hats, sunscreen, and light, breathable clothing.

Autumn (September to November):

  • Autumn in BiH brings cooler temperatures and vibrant fall foliage, making it a picturesque time to visit. The countryside is transformed into a vibrant tapestry of red, orange, and yellow, offering breathtaking scenery for outdoor activities and photography.
  • Given that it coincides with the region’s grape harvest and wine festivals, autumn is a great time of year for wine enthusiasts to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Discover the region’s winemaking traditions by visiting vineyards and sampling local wines.
  • Be prepared for occasional rainfall in autumn, so pack waterproof clothing and footwear if you plan to spend time outdoors.

Winter (December to February):

  • In BiH, winter brings cold temperatures and sporadic snowfall, particularly in the alpine areas of Jahorina and Bjelašnica. For those who prefer winter sports, now is the perfect time to visit BiH’s ski slopes and go skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing.
  • When visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina in the winter, wear warm clothing and be ready for winter driving conditions, especially if you plan to explore the country’s rural or mountainous regions. Before you leave, check the road conditions and weather forecasts.

Safety and Practical Tips

When you start researching info about Bosnia and Herzegovina, some safety concerns will arise. The most notable are presented below:

Terrorist attacks: In the past, BiH had some small-scale terrorist acts and future attacks cannot be ruled out. However, the risks cannot be considered to be high.

Land mines: Because of the recent wars that happened on the country’s territory, there are still places where land mines are hidden in the ground. You can avoid this risk by walking only on marked trails, especially when going hiking and trekking.

Political protests: They are quite normal, not only in BiH but in all of Europe. Protests are normally peaceful, but if you want to take all measures of precaution, you should avoid the areas of gathering altogether.

Crime: Pickpocketing or thefts from cars can happen from time to time, but if you take the usual measures, you can minimize these risks. Take care of your belongings, don’t leave them unattended or flash valuables in public or in plain sight in cars, and of course, make sure you lock your car. Also, in tourist hotspots and other crowded places, some tourist scams can occur.

Familiarize yourself with emergency contact numbers in BiH, including:

  • Police: 122
  • Ambulance: 124
  • Fire Department: 123

It’s also advisable to have contact information for your country’s embassy or consulate in BiH in case of emergencies or assistance with passport-related issues.

Transportation Options

First, let’s explore how to get there. By air, the country is served by several international airports, including Sarajevo International Airport, Mostar International Airport, and Banja Luka International Airport. These airports offer connections to major European cities and beyond, making air travel a convenient option.

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And if you don’t have a car available for a road trip, you can also come from neighboring countries by train or by bus.

Now what are the best means of transportation around the country? That depends on where you’re going. If you’re hopping from city to city, Bosnia and Herzegovina has a well-developed railway network, with trains connecting major cities such as Sarajevo, Mostar, and Banja Luka. Bus services are also popular and convenient ways to connect different parts of the country, but if you want to explore the landscapes more, you should consider renting a car or hiring a guide to take you around .

Bosnia and Herzegovina has an extensive network of buses and trams in major cities, providing convenient options for getting around. Taxis are also readily available, especially in urban areas.

Navigating the transportation options is crucial for a smooth and hassle-free journey to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Whether arriving by air, train, bus, or car, travelers are greeted with a warm welcome and endless opportunities to explore the wonders of this captivating country.

Accommodation Options

Bosnia and Herzegovina offers a diverse range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s preferences and budget. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels and charming guesthouses, BiH caters to various needs and provides comfortable stays amidst its stunning landscapes.

Overview of Lodging Types:

  • Hotels: BiH boasts a selection of hotels ranging from luxurious establishments in major cities to boutique hotels in scenic countryside locations. These hotels offer a range of amenities, including restaurants, spas, and business facilities, ensuring a comfortable and convenient stay for guests.
  • Hostels: Ideal for budget-conscious travelers and backpackers, hostels are plentiful in BiH, particularly in popular tourist destinations like Sarajevo and Mostar. Hostels provide affordable dormitory-style accommodation with shared facilities, making them a great option for solo travelers and small groups.
  • Guesthouses and Bed & Breakfasts: For a more intimate and personalized experience, guesthouses and bed & breakfasts are excellent choices. These cozy accommodations are often family-run and offer comfortable rooms with homemade meals and local hospitality, providing guests with a warm and authentic BiH experience.
  • Holiday Rentals: Vacation rentals, including apartments, villas, and cottages, are available for travelers seeking a home-away-from-home experience. These self-catering accommodations are popular for longer stays and provide the flexibility to explore BiH at your own pace.

Recommended Areas to Stay:

  • Sarajevo: The capital city of Sarajevo offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels in the city center to charming guesthouses in the historic Baščaršija district. Staying in Sarajevo provides easy access to cultural attractions, dining options, and vibrant nightlife.
  • Mostar: Famous for its iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge) and Ottoman architecture, Mostar offers a mix of hotels, hostels, and guesthouses along the picturesque Neretva River. Staying in Mostar allows visitors to explore its historic sites and vibrant bazaar while soaking in the city’s laid-back atmosphere.
  • Banja Luka: The second-largest city in BiH, Banja Luka, boasts a range of accommodation options, including modern hotels and budget-friendly guesthouses. Visitors can enjoy the city’s green spaces, historic landmarks, and lively cafes while staying in Banja Luka.

Budget-Friendly Accommodation Tips:

  • Book in Advance: To secure the best deals and availability, especially during peak tourist seasons, it’s advisable to book accommodation in advance.
  • Explore Alternative Options: Consider staying in smaller towns and rural areas for more affordable accommodation options away from tourist hotspots.
  • Shared Accommodation: Opt for dormitory-style rooms in hostels or shared apartments in vacation rentals to save on accommodation costs while meeting fellow travelers.

With its wide range of accommodation options, Bosnia and Herzegovina ensures a comfortable and enjoyable stay for travelers exploring its cultural heritage, natural beauty, and warm hospitality. Whether you prefer the luxury of a hotel or the coziness of a guesthouse, BiH offers something for every traveler’s taste and budget.

Things to Do and See in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Discover the cultural mix in sarajevo.

With a blend of Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and modern influences, the city’s capital is a cultural melting pot.

Discover the famed Baščaršija neighborhood, which is home to the Old Clock Tower and the Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque.

Explore Sarajevo’s Old Bazaar, where you should train your bargaining skills. As a matter of fact, I used to hate bargaining before visiting this bazaar, but here I practiced it so much that it started to come naturally.

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An important piece of history is the Latin Bridge, the site of the 1914 War’s outbreak due to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Afterward, go and explore the Sarajevo Tunnel Museum to learn more about the city’s complicated past.

Visit the most important attractions of Sarajevo on this full-day tour.

Explore the Charm of Mostar

Famous for both the Stari Most (Old Bridge) over the Neretva River and its breathtaking Ottoman architecture, Mostar is a must-see destination.

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Explore the Old Town’s cobblestone lanes, which are dotted with historic homes and artisan stores.

See the historic Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque and stroll through the charming neighborhoods surrounding Mostar’s famous bridge.

To learn more about the history of BiH, visit the Museum of War and Genocide Victims , which focuses on the events of the Bosnian War between 1992-1995.

Click here if you want to go on a private walking tour of Mostar with a local guide.

Enjoy the Cultural Heritage of Blagaj

Situated just a short drive from the historic city of Mostar, Blagaj beckons travelers to discover its serene beauty, rich history, and unique cultural heritage.

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One of the highlights of Blagaj is the Buna Spring, a natural wonder where the Buna River emerges from an underground karst cave system. Perched at the edge of the Buna Spring is the Dervish monastery, from the 16th century.

Discover BiH with a guide, on a day tour from Mostar: Kravice Waterfalls, Blagaj, Počitelj .

Discover the History of Počitelj

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is renowned for its exquisitely maintained Ottoman architecture and is a medieval village tucked away along the Neretva River.

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Discover the historic stone buildings, mosques, and old fortresses scattered around Počitelj’s stunning scenery.

See this attraction as part of the tour that will take you to Mostar, Konjic, Sufi House, Počitelj & Kravice Falls .

Relax at Pliva Lakes

Located near the town of Jajce in central BiH, Pliva Lakes comprises two interconnected lakes: Great Pliva Lake (Veliko Plivsko Jezero) and Small Pliva Lake (Malo Plivsko Jezero).

Together, they form a picturesque landscape of crystal-clear waters, lush greenery, and scenic vistas, offering a peaceful retreat for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Book a tour today to visit Pliva Lakes from Sarajevo .

Go on a Pilgrimage in Medjugorje

Medjugorje town is well known around the world as a site of great spiritual significance.

Situated amidst the magnificent hills and valleys, Medjugorje has attracted millions of pilgrims and visitors in search of comfort, healing, and spiritual rejuvenation since it was the alleged location of the Virgin Mary’s apparitions.

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If you want to go on a day trip to Medjugorje and other gems of Bosnia and Herzegovina, starting from Mostar, check out this tour.

You can also visit places in Bosnia and Herzegovina (including Medjugorje) from towns in Croatia, like Dubrovnik or Split .

Another thing you can do while in Medjugorje is join a wine tasting tour .

Bird Watch in Hutovo Blato Reserve

Hutovo Blato Bird Reserve is a natural wonder located in the southern region of BiH. It is a haven for nature lovers and birdwatchers alike, with a diverse and rich ecosystem. This protected area, which covers more than 7,411 hectares and is home to wetlands, marshes, and forests, is an essential habitat for many different species of birds and other wildlife. here, you can expect to see anything from majestic herons and graceful egrets to colorful kingfishers and elusive eagles.

For a photo safari in the National Bird Reserve Hutovo Blato, check out this tour .

Swim Beneath Kravice Waterfalls

Tucked away amidst the verdant landscapes of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Kravice Waterfalls emerge as a breathtaking spectacle of cascading water, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in its pristine beauty and tranquil surroundings.

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Located in the vicinity of the town of Ljubuški, Kravice Waterfalls captivate travelers with their sheer grandeur and natural splendor, making it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. And since swimming is allowed, if the weather permits, why not take a dip?

If you’re based in Mostar and want to visit Kravice Waterfall, among other attractions, choose this full day tour to Kravice Waterfalls, Blagaj and Počitelj . If you want to go on a private tour, but only to Kravice Waterfall, and customize the experience as you wish, book this tour .

If you want to visit them from Sarajevo (again, among other BiH attractions), book a knowledgeable guide that will take you to Mostar, Konjic, Sufi House, Počitelj & Kravice Falls .

Go to a Wine Tasting in Trebinje

Surrounded by lush vineyards, rolling hills, and the tranquil waters of the Trebišnjica River, Trebinje beckons travelers to embark on a journey of discovery. Trebinje is well known for its flourishing wine business, as the area around the city is covered in vineyards. Wine lovers can take advantage of wine-tasting tours at nearby wineries, where they can sample highly regarded vintages like Vranac and Žilavka and learn from experts about the craft of winemaking.

Also, you can explore the cobblestone streets of Trebinje’s Old Town, charming squares, Ottoman-era mosques, and well-preserved buildings dating back centuries, such as the Arslanagića Bridge, which spans the Trebišnjica River, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

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If you want to explore the best highlights of Trebinje with a guide , I recommend booking a walking tour.

Bask in the Sun in Neum

Bosnia and Herzegovina only has 9km of access to the Adriatic Sea. This patch of land actually separates Dubrovnik County from the rest of Croatia, which is weird if you think about it. When I went from Split to Dubrovnik by bus, I had to cross the border twice – once to enter BiH and the second time to enter Croatia again.

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If you want a beach vacation with lower prices than on the Croatian coast, Neum Bay is a good option.

Understanding Local Customs

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is a country rich in cultural diversity, shaped by centuries of influences from various civilizations and ethnic groups. Understanding and respecting local customs is essential for visitors to BiH to fully immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of its cultural heritage. Here are some key customs and traditions to be aware of when visiting BiH:

Hospitality and Warmth:

  • BiH is well known for its friendliness and willingness to welcome guests.
  • As a sign of hospitality, it is customary to be invited to locals’ homes and be served traditional Bosnian coffee, freshly baked pastries, and other culinary delights.

Religious Respect:

  • Many religious communities, including Muslims, Orthodox Christians, Catholics, and Jews, are present in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Respect for the locals’ religious customs and practices is expected of visitors.
  • When you attend places of worship like churches, monasteries, and mosques, you should act respectfully and wear modest clothing. When entering mosques, women are frequently expected to cover their heads and shoulders.

Dining Etiquette:

  • In Bosnia and Herzegovina, dining is a social activity, frequently involving shared meals and animated discussions. When dining with locals, it’s common to wait to start eating until the host extends an invitation.
  • It is customary to show gratitude for the food and to sample a little of everything that is offered. Compliments to the host on the quality of the meal are also appreciated.

Greetings and Gestures:

  • In BiH, greetings usually consist of a firm handshake and direct eye contact. During greetings, it is customary to ask about one’s health and well-being.
  • In rural areas, traditional greetings may involve a kiss on each cheek, especially among friends and family members.

Gift Giving:

  • In Bosnia and Herzegovina, giving gifts is customary, especially during house visits or as a token of gratitude. Gifts such as flowers, chocolates, or small tokens of appreciation are appropriate.
  • When presenting a gift, offering it with both hands is customary as a sign of respect.

Throughout this travel guide of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we have explored the unique attractions and hidden gems that the country has to offer, from historic landmarks and cultural festivals to breathtaking natural wonders and outdoor adventures. Whether you’re exploring the ancient streets of Mostar, savoring traditional Bosnian cuisine in a local tavern, or hiking through the scenic trails of Sutjeska National Park, BiH invites you to embark on a journey of discovery and exploration.

As you plan your visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, we hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights, practical tips, and inspiration to make the most of your travel experience. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, a food lover, or simply seeking a place to unwind and connect with nature, BiH offers endless opportunities for memorable experiences and meaningful encounters.

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Explore Bosnia & Herzegovina: The Ultimate Bosnia Travel Guide

  • Europe / The Balkans
When you go to Sarajevo, what you experience is life. Mike Leigh

Why you’ll love Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH for short) is often associated with loss and death. From the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand which set WWI in motion, to the Siege of Sarajevo and the Srebrenica massacre, BiH has long been viewed as a nation torn apart at the seams. But now more than ever, it’s equally a place of new beginnings and budding creativity – a place where you can feel life itself tingling on your skin.

In 1992, citizens voted in a monumental independence referendum and Bosnia and Herzegovina gained her independence. The dotted lines of autonomous republics, the intricate political system (often named the most complex in the world), and the very presence of the ‘and’ in the country’s name are a clue to the kind of diversity and contrasts you can expect today.

If there’s one thing I learned after five weeks travelling around BiH, it’s that the warmth of the people and the illustrious beauty of the landscape are the strongest uniting forces.

Bosnia Travel Guide: Traditional Bosnian coffee set at a cafe in Sarajevo.

Bosnia travel essentials

Please note: Some of these links are affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you). Learn more .

April/May or October/November (spring/fall shoulder seasons).

How long in Bosnia?

2 full days for Sarajevo; 5-7 days for the highlights; 10 days to see everything.

Daily budget

35-50 USD per person per day (mid-range hotel; local meals; bus fares; museum tickets).

Getting there

Fly into Sarajevo or Tuzla; drive/bus/taxi from any neighbouring country.

Visa-free for most passports (stay up to 90 days).

Getting around

Hire a car; use intercity buses and vans.

Where to stay

Hostels, family-run guesthouses or hotels.

Tours & experiences

Market tours, UNESCO sites and wild landscapes.

Things to do in Bosnia and Herzegovina

In Sarajevo , BiH’s capital city, the line where Asia stops and Europe begins (or is the other way around?) is literally drawn in the sand. A plaque on the pavement separates the Austro-Hungarian-built part of the city, with its market halls and plasterwork facades, from the Ottoman quarter, with its public fountains and singing minarets.

Sarajevo’s Old Bazaar , Bascarsija , is pure magic. As you dart between tea houses, carpet shops and Buregdzinicas (bakeries specialising in burek ), you move to the rhythm of tradesmen who still pound bronze with the same fervour as they did centuries ago.

As you cross the stone bridges in Mostar , Visegrad and Konjic , you begin to understand that not only is each one a proxy for a devastating chapter of Balkan history (which every traveller must take the time to learn about), it’s also a symbolic bridge between past, present and future.

From Jajce , the city with roaring waterfall at its centre to Pocitelj , an almost-abandoned Ottoman town, Banja Luka , the country’s second city to the sweet Trebinje ; between the Dinaric Alps , the Pliva Lakes and the ambling River Drina , Bosnia and Herzegovina has a way of making you feel alive.

Explore Bosnia and Herzegovina

Discover all the best things to do in Bosnia with my latest travel guides.

herzegovina travel

Sarajevo Through the Lens: 42 Magical Photos of Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Capital

View of Stari most old bridge in Mostar from Lucki most bridge.

How to Spend One Day in Mostar: 24 Hours in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Most Captivating City

A colourful platter of grilled meat and vegetables at a restaurant in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Best Bosnian Food: 20 Delicious Things to Eat & Drink in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Christ the Savior Cathedral, a main landmark and must-visit attraction in Banja Luka, Bosnia & Herzegovina.

12 Things to do in Banja Luka, Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Second City (Republika Srpska)

Nature, history, culture—there's something for every traveller in this round-up of 12 Sarajevo day trips. Experience the best of Bosnia and Herzegovina!

12 Best Sarajevo Day Trips for History, Nature & Culture

herzegovina travel

5 Things I Learned on a Sarajevo Food Tour

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Pliva Lakes & Watermills: A Guide to Visiting From Jajce

The best things to do in Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina's cascade city. Includes tips for Jajce Waterfall, Jajce Fortress, and other Jajce highlights.

A Quick Guide to Jajce, Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Cascade City

herzegovina travel

Mostar to Pocitelj: A Complete Guide to Visiting the Ottoman-era Open Air Museum

A vintage car and traditional architecture in Mećavnik, a day trip from Sarajevo.

An Epic Day Trip from Sarajevo to Visegrad, Borak Stecci and Mokra Gora

My bosnia favourites.

Via Dinarica Trail (Slovenia to Kosovo via BiH).

Must-eat meal

Tufahija (baked apple) with a Bosnian coffee.

local experience

Watching the sunset over Sarajevo from Bijela Tabija.

best souvenir

A copper tray or coffee pot from the Sarajevo Old Bazaar.

Update April 12, 2024

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Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel Advisory

Travel advisory july 26, 2023, bosnia and herzegovina - level 2: exercise increased caution.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise increased caution in Bosnia and Herzegovina due to  terrorism  and  land mines .

Country Summary:  Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

Minefields and land mines are present throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. While suspected hazardous areas are normally clearly marked, several people are killed or injured each year.

Read the  country information page for additional information on travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

If you decide to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina:   

  • Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and crowded public venues.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Remain on hard-surfaced roads and stay out of abandoned buildings due to risks from land mines.
  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter . 
  • Review the  Country Security Report for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .

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Wedged into the far south of the country, little Herzegovina is less known than its big brother, Bosnia, but this land of muscular peaks and rushing rivers arguably has more to see. Pride of place goes to Mostar and its famed Old Bridge, but it’s worth venturing outside the city to see little Blagaj , or to absorb the religious curiosities of Međugorije . Those on their way to Dubrovnik or Montenegro should also call in at Trebinje , by far the most pleasant town in the Republika Srpska.

Excursions from Mostar

Top image: Old town of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, with Stari Most bridge, Neretva river and old mosques © Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock

Using Mostar as a base, you have a whole slew of destinations to choose from. Unfortunately, the paucity of public transport means that it’s tough to see more than one in a day, and some places aren’t accessible at all: often your best option is to visit on a tour from Mostar.

Closest to Mostar is the village of BLAGAJ , just 12km to the east and accessible by local buses. Once you disembark, carry straight ahead through the town to the Tekija . Huddled into a niche in the cliff face, this wonky wooden building was once the residence of dervishes, and the interior – prayer rooms, washroom and kitchen – are all suitably spartan. The hammam , meanwhile, remains as it was. Right next to it, a never-ending torrent of water gushes out of the cliff, apparently reaching levels of 43,000 litres per second; some of this is skimmed off to make tea and coffee, which you can order at the adjacent terrace, including a chunk of lokum (Turkish delight).

Twenty six kilometres south of Mostar is the curious village of MEĐUGORIJE , a mere non-entity until June 1981, when a group of teenagers claimed to have been spoken to by the Virgin Mary here. Unlike Lourdes and Fatima, this has not been officially recognized by the Vatican, but that doesn’t stop pilgrims arriving in such numbers that there are now thousands of rooms available to accommodate them. The main sights here are the Church of St James and the nearby “Weeping Knee” statue, so named as it apparently flouts the laws of thermodynamics by dribbling out a constant flow of fluid.

Počitelj and the Kravice Waterfalls

A few kilometres south of Međugorije is the hillside village of POČITELJ , one of the most traditional in Herzegovina. The place is quite stunning, and dotted with remnants from the fifteenth century, most notably a citadel and a terrific mosque. Unfortunately there are no direct buses here, so it’s best to join a tour. Groups will likely swing through to see the nearby Kravice Waterfalls , which are not accessible on public transport. High, wide and handsome, the pool below is a great place for a dip.

On arrival at the train or bus station, you may be forgiven for thinking that the beauty of MOSTAR has been somewhat exaggerated. There then begins a slow descent to the Old Town, during which it becomes more and more apparent that it really is a very special place indeed. Attentive ears will pick out rushing streams, salesmen crying their wares, as well as church bells and muezzins competing for attention, while steep, cobblestoned streets slowly wind their way down to the fast-flowing, turquoise-blue Neretva River and its Old Bridge, incredibly photogenic even when the Speedo-clad mostari – the brave gents who dive from the apex – aren’t tumbling into the waters below. The city is becoming ever more popular with tourists, though the dearth of high-end accommodation means that most visit on a day-trip – bad news for anyone on the Old Bridge around lunchtime, though great news for anyone staying the night; the best time to come is first thing in the morning or early evening.

Mostar’s history is irrevocably entwined with that of its bridge. Like hundreds of locals, this was to fall victim in 1993 when the Croats and Muslims of the town, previously united against the Serbs, turned on each other: the conflict rumbled on for two long years, each side sniping at the other from opposing hills. Locals claim that, prior to the war, more than half of the city’s marriages were mixed, but the figure has since dwindled to nothing; while relations are now much improved, the truce remains uneasy.

The Old Town , spanning both sides of the Neretva, contains most things of interest in Mostar, and in its centre is the Old Bridge , focal point of the city and the obvious place to kick off your sightseeing. On the eastern bank is the more interesting Muslim part of town, while the west is mainly home to Catholic Croats.

The east bank

Lined with trinket stores, cobblestoned Kujundžiluk climbs uphill, soon leading to the Koski Mehmed Paša Mosque . For all its beauty, the panoply of souvenir sellers shows that tourism, rather than religious endeavour, is the current priority; eschew the 8KM it costs to climb the minaret and instead head down to the terrace where you can get superb head-on views of the bridge. Passing another mosque, the road segues quickly into modern Mostar, though pay attention to signs pointing out the Turkish House on your left, a fascinating peek into the Ottoman traditions of yesteryear. Above Kujundžiluk you’ll see the Cejvan Cehaj Mosque , Mostar’s oldest, on the way to the Museum of Herzegovina . Between the two lies a Muslim graveyard , and it’s hard not to be moved when you notice that almost everybody laid to rest here died the same year, 1993.

The Old Bridge

Transit point, dungeon, tourist attraction, war victim and macho launchpad, Mostar’s small, hump-backed Stari Most has led an interesting life. With tradesmen terrified by the rickety nature of its wooden predecessor and the fast-flowing Neretva below, it was built in the 1560s at the instigation of Suleyman the Magnificent. Those employed to guard the bridge were called the mostari , a term later borrowed when naming the city, and then used to describe the men who dive from the apex, 21m down into the Neretva. After 427 years in service, the bridge was strategically destroyed by Croat forces in November 1993, symbolizing the ethnic division of the city. There then began the arduous process of rebuilding it piece by piece, using new materials but following the same techniques used in its initial construction, before it reopened in 2004. The mostari are still there, day after day; they’ll try to work the crowd into shelling out an acceptable fee – typically around €25 – before taking the plunge. Join them if you dare, especially in July, when the annual diving festival marks the highlight of Mostar’s year.

Old Bridge Museum

Off the eastern end of the bridge is Helebija , a tower that now accommodates the enlightening Old Bridge Museum , spread over four levels, and topped with a viewing point. Of most interest is the archeological section, where you can see some of the few remaining chunks of the bridge that weren’t swept away, alongside footage of its painstaking rebirth. There’s sobering archive footage of the bridge’s downfall in the neighbouring Old Bridge Gallery , which also stocks a superb range of books on the war and the history of Bosnia in English.

The west bank

Tara , the bridge’s western tower, was once a dungeon into which prisoners were thrown to die, either from injury, starvation or – in rainy season – drowning. It’s now the base of the diving club, and the War Photo Exhibition , an array of startling shots taken during the troubles by Kiwi photographer Wade Goddard. Just 22 at the time, Goddard spent this period with a family inside the Old Town, wandering the streets to document the hardships. A little zigzagging will bring you to the Crooked Bridge – apparently built as a warm-up for the big boy, and almost as pleasing; although it (just about) remained standing during the war, it did finally collapse in 1999 due to flooding. Further along is the Tabhana , a former bathhouse now filled with bars and restaurants. Continue to the end of the street and you’ll eventually reach Bulevar, the main road that, during the war, served as the front line – still today, the road is lined with a succession of battered buildings.

The Republika Srpska’s most appealing town by a country mile, TREBINJE is tucked into Herzegovina’s southern extremity, and its proximity to Dubrovnik and the Montenegrin border makes it the ideal start or finish line to a race through the country. It’s most famed for the sixteenth-century Arslanagić Bridge – a longer version of the one in Mostar – which sits a ten-minute walk from the town centre; in what must have been quite a feat, it was moved here, stone by stone, from the village of Arslanagić some 5km away, in 1972.

Back in the centre is the Old Town , a pretty warren of streets now largely filled with cafés; better yet for coffee-slurping is elegant Jovan Dučić Trg , home to a daily market and almost totally cloaked with maple leaves ( platani ).

There are also a couple of still-functioning hilltop monasteries , notably fourteenth-century Tvrdoš 6km west of Trebinje, which are a delight to roam around and well worth the climb.

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A Guide to Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel

Rumoured to be one of the oldest countries in Europe, with evidence of having been settled since the Stone Age, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country that is set to surprise you. 

No doubt, when first hearing the country’s name, you already have your expectations. Bosnia’s war-torn history including being the site of Franz Ferdinand’s murder that kick-started the First World War, and more recently having gone through the longest siege a modern European country has seen. 

The most important part in referencing these is that while traces of the war-torn country can still be seen, Bosnia and Herzegovina is ready to come out the other side. As soon as you set foot in the capital, Sarajevo, locals will be ready to tell you the country is set to progress. 

Unexpectedly the waterfall capital of the Balkans, Bosnia and Herzegovina has beautiful spouts of waterfalls tumbling into national parks, arguably some of the beautiful in Europe. So much so that ‘Bosnia’ is an Indo-European word for water. 

The country is jam-packed with natural vistas, national parks, verdant forests and one of the oldest jungles in the world. Quaint villages like Jajca even have a waterfall in the middle of them. 

Bosnia and Herzegovina is ready and waiting to surprise you with its creative culture and mind-blowing scenery! Read on to find out what you could find;

Post Contents

Best Time for Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel

Sarajevo travel, the dervish blagaj tekija, kravice waterfalls, tito’s bunker, visegrad and the bridge over the drina, jajce pliva waterfall, bus services, cevapi and somun, sogan dolma, bosanski lonac, kids festival, international sarajevo winter festival, bascarsija nights, summer on the vrbas, things to know before you go to bosnia and herzegovina, dreaming of your bosnia-herzegovina travels.

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Bosnia and Herzegovina is a bit of a year-round country. There are four distinct seasons to enjoy starting with spring and autumn. Hikers will enjoy mild temperatures and flowers in bloom and, in autumn, a burst of reds and oranges. 

To visit Bosnia and Herzegovina and not experience that much rain, it’s best to travel from June to September when the mountain regions are at their warmest and driest. There is a small portion of the country that is Mediterranean, stretching towards the coastline.

If you are more of a winter traveller, the skiing season starts in December and runs in February when Bosnia and Herzegovina travel turns to winter sports. 

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Best Places to Travel in Bosnia and Herzegovina 

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There’s nowhere quite like Sarajevo. The city stands as a historical reference point: where World War I began, and most recently where the Yugoslavic wars were centred.

After the longest siege in modern European history, Sarajevo has its scars; however, locals will happily tell you that Bosnia is no longer a war-torn country, and rightly so. The energy of this vibrant city inspires progress as you’ll see in this 10-day essentials of the Balkans tour . Sarajevo has an urban edge and is a little rough around the edges, yet quirky and modern in its own way. 

The city is a cacophony of religious backgrounds, all of which have been adopted by the city at one point. Muslim, Catholic, Orthodox, Jewish and Muslim religions are present throughout the city and have all left their mark. Mix that in with its beautiful positioning between the mountains and you have a city to remember. Sarajevo travel is an experience to live through.

Nestled at the foot of a cliff face, Blagaj Tekija is a 600-year-old monastery that sits next to the turquoise waters of the River Buna. 

Founded in the midst of Ottoman rule, Blagaj Tekija belongs to the Dervish fraternity of the Sufi sect of Islam. The monastery is still active today and is a popular day trip from Mostar to explore a different part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As you’ll see on this 5-day private Balkan essentials tour , you can explore the river and go inside the monastery for a small fee. The area is raw, untouched and beautiful, so much so you can drink the water straight from the river in parts!

As the largest waterfall in the country, Kravice is not one to disappoint. With several gushes of water tumbling down to one large natural pool, Kravice Waterfall is a favourite swimming spot among locals during the hottest months of the summer, so be sure to get in there early!

The waterfalls appear as if they are slipping through the forest canopy, dramatically changing the landscape in all their misty beauty as they drop 25 metres down. The waterfalls are well facilitated by several restaurants sitting close to the pool as well as a picnic spot. 

The quintessential Ottoman town of the country, Mostar has a charming old town with architecture that will blow you away with its European-style charm of which Stari Most, the old bridge introduces you to this historic area. 

It hasn’t always been a riverside charm and architectural bounty for Mostar. During the Yugoslavian war, Mostar was the most heavily bombed due to its proximity to Croatia in 1992 and 1993, events that completely destroyed Mostar’s iconic symbol. The old bridge was rebuilt in 2004 using some of the original pieces that were found in the river. 

A tour in Mostar will introduce you to the complexities of this charming town’s history, as a former multicultural hub and Ottoman frontier, just like in this day trip to Mostar from Dubrovnik . The town is very much still recovering from its very recent past.  

Nestled high in the mountains, Tito’s Bunker is a nuclear hideout turned modern art space that is worth the journey.

Behind the doors of your average countryside house is a horseshoe of accommodation and meeting rooms that make up a nuclear bunker that would have safe-housed Josip Tito’s entourage in the event of a nuclear strike. The bunker was ready for use in 1979, taking a total of 26 years to complete, it had enough food for six months of hiding for up to 350 political and military personnel. 

It may not seem like much to have a nuclear bunker as a political leader, however, the extremities that were taken to keep this bunker a secret demonstrate its importance. The bunker was spared when it was found and now serves as an eerie contemporary art space in a military unit more or less in the exact same condition it was found in. 

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Skakavac Waterfalls

Waterfalls are always better with a little added adventure – Skakavac Waterfall delivers this! 

Sitting on the outskirts of Sarajevo, to get to Skakavac Waterfalls you’ll have to walk seven kilometres on one of two well sign-posted routes; one that takes you up above the waterfall and another that takes you below. No matter what route you take, the smell of fresh air and the calm of the waterfalls will satisfy your longing for nature!

Skakavac Waterfalls are among the tallest in the country; albeit not being the most powerful – it’s truly spectacular!

Famed for its Ottoman architecture and wine, Trebinje at first glance is your typical European hillside town. Charming, old, and easy-going, the town itself is a day out to remember, every corner seems to present a photo opportunity to capture the magic of the town. 

Once at the centre of the Serb-Herzegovina, Trebinje is an easy day trip from Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia; a worthy journey when you see the vine-to-glass culture of their wine production. In fact, cultivation and agriculture sit at the heart of local activity, witnessing this traditional, simple means of life creates ease and grace that you can’t help but take on yourself. 

Once you’ve finished exploring this charming town like in this 7-day Balkan essentials trip , sitting down for a glass of Bosnian wine is essential to complete the tour!

Tours of the Balkans cannot miss the Bridge over the Drina, the lasting picturesque representation of famed writer Ivo Andric who dedicated his life works to Bosnia’s 15th-century Ottoman rule. The bridge connects Visegrad town to Andricgrad like in this 4-day UNESCO world heritage sites from Split tour . It is an open-air museum-cum-old town that takes you back to the days when Ivo Andric’s characters walked the streets. 

Outside of Andric’s dream world, Visegrad’s story does not get much happier. Visegrad is famous for the siege that took the city from Roman rule to Ottoman rule, of which traces of both empires can still be found. Prior to the 1990s, Visegrad was a predominantly Muslim town whose people became victims of a campaign that would kill over one thousand people in the town. Today, Visegrad is predominantly Serb. 

A quaint picturesque town that introduces you to a more rural lifestyle, Jajce is your ideal Bosnia and Herzegovina travel destination as you’ll witness in this 16-day grand Balkan tour . However, Jajce tops the rest with Pliva Waterfall, tumbling into the confluence of the Vrbas and Pliva rivers, and creating a natural centre for a town in a way that you’ve probably never seen before. 

Named one of the 12 most beautiful waterfalls in the world, Pliva doesn’t boast a mighty roar or lofty height. It complements its surroundings in a fairytale-like fashion, creating an oasis of calm for a laid-back Ottoman town along with gentle terraces and lush green forests. You won’t believe your eyes.

How to Get Around Bosnia and Herzegovina

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As some of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s public services are limited, if you are travelling for a short period of time in the country, hiring your own driver or a car by yourself may be the easiest way to tick all your boxes for the country. If you are looking to continue travelling from Mostar into Croatia, this will also open some avenues for you in terms of tours in the Balkans. The roads in Bosnia and Herzegovina are well maintained.

For budget travellers, your best and most convenient way of getting around is to use the local buses. You can book local buses in advance with our Local Designers in Bosnia and Herzegovina which will save you a considerable amount of money. 

There is a train service available in Bosnia and Herzegovina, however, the service is unreliable and outdated, it is much more convenient to take the bus or drive.

Where to Stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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To experience Sarajevo in all its glory, staying in the centre, Marijin Dvor, is highly recommended. Marijin Dvor is the alternative centre to the city, which was deliberately built away from the old town by the Austro-Hungarian former rulers. 

If you are looking to be in a more bustling centre, the old town, Bascarsija will put you at the centre of Sarajevo’s history and is also where most of Sarajevo’s thriving nightlife scene is found. 

Although a must on all who are looking into Bosnia and Herzegovina travel, Mostar has just one area to stay in which is the city centre. 

While high-end accommodation options will edge closer to Mostar main attractions, budget options will take you out of the Stari Grad. Not to worry  – you’ll always remain within walking distance to the most beautiful parts of this city.

A little further off of the tourist trail, Travnik caters to a mid-range to high-end budget where simplicity and comfort are paramount. With a range of options in and out of the centre, it’s worth booking accommodation as close as possible to attractions that you are interested in as local bus services can be limiting. 

Although famed for its history and bridges, Visegrad remains quiet with just a few hotels to choose from that accommodate a mid-high range budget. During peak seasons, it’s highly recommended that you book your spot in advance with one of our Local Designers. 

What to Eat on Your Bosnia and Herzegovina Travels

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If you know anything about Balkan food, you’ll be well acquainted with cevapi. A kind of stubby sausage, cevapi is minced beef or mutton deep-fried. In Bosnia, it’s served as around eight pieces that fill a somun bread along with onion and sour cream. 

Somun is essentially pita bread, although the texture is a little chewier. As it came from the Ottomans, there are discrepancies there! 

A speciality of Mostar, sogan dolma is not your typical leaves stuffed with rice. This is a much meatier version where onion is packed full of mince and roasted with tomato-based juices for a long time. To finish the dish, you’ll often have sprinklings of parsley and a lemon or garlic dressing. 

The Ottoman influence continues! The Ottomans occupied this region for over 500 centuries and brought all their tasty treats too. Baklava is a flaky sweet treat filled with almonds and pistachios, there are many different combinations of baklava, however, the traditional ones typically have an aromatic flavour from rose oil and orange blossom. 

More pastries! Burek is popular around the Balkans and is one of Bosnian’s favourite snacks. The pastry is filled with meat, cheese or spinach, you’ll also find a combination of any of the three. 

Burek either comes as a slice or a pie that hides layer upon layer of your chosen fillings. This is the cheap and cheerful street food that will keep you going on long walking days. 

This is perhaps the best example of the local love for all things slow-cooked. Bosanski Lonac is a hearty one-pot dish filled with meat and vegetables and cooked at an easy pace. The slow-cooking process naturally creates a tasty broth with sealed flavours at the bottom that is drizzled when served.

Festivals to Look Out For in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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As Sarajevo is home to the country’s largest population, you’ll find most festivals are centred around the capital.

Taking over June, the Kid’s Festival aims to bring out and embrace children’s creativity and willingness to learn new things with workshops, games, dancing and music adding a little fun to the summer. 

The one that everyone looks forward to, the International Sarajevo Winter Festival brings creativity to the city in February where artists from around the world come to compete for a grand prize. With no limit to what they can do, the city becomes transformed and walking around is like a game to see them all.

Another to bring people to Sarajevo, Bascarsija Nights is a cultural celebration of between 40 and 50 cultural events ranging from opera to literary discussions and film showings. One for the art lovers, Bascarsija Nights is a chance to delve deep into the creative side of Bosnia’s culture in all its forms. 

Making the most of the hot weather, Summer on the Vrbas aims to bring out the athlete in you with a variety of sporting competitions, alongside cultural exchanges, to bring people together around the Kastel Fortress. Fun for all the family, this traditional event is all about exchanging skills and ideas through activities and workshops. 

Visa : As Bosnia and Herzegovina is not part of Europe or the Schengen zone, visa rules are very different here. Most passports will get you 90 days, however, it’s best to check before you go. 

Currency : The official currency of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Bosnian Convertible Mark. At the time of writing, 1 USD is equal to 1.65 KM. Close to the Croatian border, you may be able to use the Kroner. 

Language: The official language is Bosnian, which is a southern Slavic language. Due to the mixed population, Croatian and Serbian are also official languages.

References : Bosniak refers to an ethnic Muslim, Bosnian refers to people from Bosnia, Bosnian Bosniak is a Bosnian Muslim. Post-war, this is very important. 

History : Due to the heavy shelling of the country, there are an estimated 200,00 land mines that are still to be removed from the country, only trek or hike on designated paths.

If this guide has left you eager to see Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Balkan peninsula, Designer Journeys is here to lend a hand. For city-hopping, natural explorations and endless waterfalls, browse our fully-customisable Bosnia and Herzegovina trips to see what is on offer.

For a more tailored experience, click on ‘design your own trip’ and answer some simple questions about your travel preferences and budget and our Local Designers in Bosnia and Herzegovina will create a trip to match your requests and see that they come to life! 

There are so many possibilities with this gloriously underestimated country, start exploring today!

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Eilidh Wilson

Hello! I’m Eilidh, a Scottish-born writer, artist and part-time explorer who has been based in Vietnam since 2016. Very much the outdoor type, in between words, you’ll catch me seeking out adventures to be had and stories to be told. I’m a sucker for a sunset, adore the reward of finding waterfalls and a self-proclaimed beach bum. Back at the desk, I love sharing my experience and love of travel and inspiring others to reach further out into the world - especially if it’s related to food!

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Last updated on July 30, 2023 by Shannon

Travel guide to Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Balkan States are not a region many mainstream travelers have on their bucket list of places to visit next. It’s still considered an offbeat region, although that is changing quickly. Croatia leaped onto the tourist radar over the past decade, and as tourism increases, many are discovering that neighboring Bosnia & Herzegovina is a destination in its own right.

I’ll fess up right now, I deeply loved my three weeks the country, and I consider it one of the most underrated places I’ve visited.  The country is stunning and the people are warm. Also, the country has waged a huge effort to overcome the atrocities of the 90s war, and they are a culture and people moving forward, but not forgetting.

stari most things to do bosnia

Bosnia is still flying under the radar for most travelers; Croatia and Montenegro are hotspots for their coastline, but Bosnia has a stunning mountain scenery and a culture unique to the region. For travelers, it makes a fascinating vacation—if not the easiest travel experience. English is not widely spoken throughout, not even in some of the touristy areas. If you visit with a sense of adventure and patience, you’ll find everyone friendly and willing to pantomime with you if that’s what it takes!

There’s a lot to do on a trip to Bosnia & Herzegovina. Rafting the country’s gorgeous rivers is hugely popular, as are winter sports too. The country has a stunning landscape—mountains, rivers, waterfalls—it’s easy to navigate on public transport, and the people are hospitable and welcoming to tourists.

Bosnia is a beautiful, offbeat place to explore and I highly recommend it. Consider socially responsible travel, and read on for more information you should know before you visit Bosnia & Herzegovina. Or jump straight to the city-level travel guides.

Table of Contents

Things to Know Before Traveling to Bosnia & Herzegovina

Throughout the Bosnian War, many people were displaced to neighboring countries. Others left as refugees, never to return. And many lost their lives. Travelers should dive into the recommended readings and form a nuanced understanding of the region’s past, as well as how that has affected its current politics.

If you’re traveling to the Balkans, you should do a fair bit of contextual research before you go. Like many countries with a recent history of war, there is a delicate peace among the people. Consider this a quick overview, but I highly recommend you dive into the recommended readings below—many are easy to load onto your Kindle—so you have a nuanced understanding of the region’s past, as well as how that affects its current politics.

First settled by the Slavic peoples, around the 14th century Bosnia and Herzegovina became a province of the Ottoman Empire. It’s this influence that brought Islam to the region. Bosnia and Herzegovina stayed under Ottoman control until that influence began to wane throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. By the end of WWII, Bosnia and Herzegovina had become part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Mosque on the Neretva River, Bosnia

Bosnia and Herzegovina declared sovereignty and independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991 and 1992. It’s this action that set off a chain of events that would shape the country’s next few years— the Bosnian War was a bloody civil strife focused around ethnic and religious differences. The Serbs resisted the declaration of independence, preferring to create a country divided along ethnic lines that aligned to neighboring Serbia and Croatia. Eventually, NATO—alongside internal and external forces—created a accord that ended with a Peace Treaty signed by all parties. But that peace took years and some might say is shaky.

Throughout the Bosnian War, many people were displaced to neighboring countries. Others left as refugees, never to return. And many lost their lives. The country’s capital experienced the longest siege of a capital city in history. Sarajevo was under siege for four years and the effects of that are still visible there, as well throughout other areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina has a diverse population, with independence uniting the country’s religious and ethnic groups. Roughly 45% are Muslim, 36% Orthodox, and 15% Catholic. With the past divisions in mind, it’s important to understand that there are two (and sometimes three) distinct regions that have united to act as one country and to function under one currency. And though unity in mid-90s brought peace to the region, there are still tensions and politics that are deeply embedded in the region’s history.

For travelers, understanding the 90s civil war is important. Even with that foundational history, however, it’s best to steer clear of discussing religion or politics, nor should you presume to refer to locals under one of the terms that denote ethnicity/religion/regional ties such as: Bosniak, Croat, and Serb. Bosnian is usually considered neutral to refer to anyone from the region and does not connote religious/ethnic ties. If you’d like more history, this is a quick and thorough timeline of the country’s historic events .

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Fast Facts About Bosnia & Herzegovina Travel

Bosnian Convertible Marka (BAM) ( current exchange rate )

Electricity in Bosnia

230V/50hz. European 2-pin (Type C  & Type E). Americans will need an adaptor.

Primary Airports

Sarajevo Airport (SJJ)

Is the water safe to drink in Bosnia?

Both safe and unsafe. Sarajevo has safe tap water and very strong food safety measures. Rural areas of the country are not safe.

Bring a reusable bottle and refill with safe water, or consider the merits of a  SteriPen  or  LifeStraw  for your trip.

Is there good wifi in Bosnia?

Internet has come a long way since my first visit in 2009. Internet is far more widespread than it once was, and pretty decent. Most hostels and many hotels will offer it complimentary.

This is a good list of free wifi spots  in Sarajevo, and they have listings for all major cities if you’re in a pinch and need a connection. You can also hotspot yourself in a pinch and that works reliably.

Local SIM Card

Mobile data is available in most areas and is very affordable. BH Telecom is the best option for maximum chance of coverage throughout both Bosnia & Herzegovina.

You will find prepaid SIM kiosks; just buy one of these and top up for the amount of data/time that you need. There are both data + voice, and just data options; it’s  explained more here with kiosk location information too.

Best Time to Visit Bosnia

May through September is the best time to enjoy Bosnia and Herzegovina. Winters are bitterly cold in the region, but summer is hot and sunny.

What’s the visa situation like?

North Americans and Europeans do not need a visa to visit Bosnia-Herzegovina for up to 90 days. Most of Central and South America is covered under that same policy.

Those outside of this region who hold a Schengen visa are admitted for 15 days. Check the latest visa requirements here .

Food Considerations

This region of the world is hard for vegetarian travelers. They are meat-heavy cultures and with so little English spoken, it can be hard to communicate dietary restrictions. But the fresh food at markets is easy to acquire. I always carried an apple in my bag to stave off hunger.

Plan on eating a lot of spinach and cheese bureks—they’re vegetarian and make a tasty lunch (especially with plain yogurt!). I wrote a bit about what it’s like to be a vegetarian traveler in Bosnia . You must learn “I’m vegetarian and I do not eat meat” in Bosnian. You will need it. Also, consider these food safety principles  when picking where to eat.

Accommodation

Bosnia has a well-developed tourism infrastructure, despite relatively low levels of tourism. You can easily book pensions, B&Bs, and hostels online, or via phone if you’re driving around the country. Consider booking with locally-owned accommodation to ensure the money is staying within the communities.

In rural areas, look into eco-lodges and ethno villages—these ensure you have the lowest impact possible on the local environment. I stayed with locals in Sarajevo and it was such a wonderful way to see the city.

For backpackers, Booking.com is perfect for pre-booking hostels. And if you buy a local SIM card (which you should), you can easily call ahead and directly reserve spots en route. If none of these will do, check out my detailed guide to finding good places to stay . 

Festivals of Note

  • Street Art Festival in Mostar (Spring)
  • Sarajevan Winter (February/March)
  • Bascarsija Nights (July)
  • Jazzfest Sarajevo (November)

How much should you budget to travel in Bosnia?

This is a good budget destination, though not rock-bottom prices. The day-trippers from Croatia’s cruise ships jack up the prices a bit in Mostar. Generally, backpackers should plan on about $30 per day—this includes budget eating like bureks/cevapi and hostels throughout your stay.

Low-end hotels are also pretty nice, so for a bit more, you can easily upgrade. This page gives a good budget overview for various travel styles.

How to Travel Around Bosnia

The train system in Eastern Europe is extensive fantastic for getting into Bosnia. Because other countries are close, many travelers arrive in Zagreb and train into Sarajevo. Also, the bus system takes over nicely where the train doesn’t go.

Traveling Bosnia is not the cheapest travel in the world; neighboring countries are on the Euro and that has inflated the costs a bit. Buses will get you everywhere you need to go, but may take a bit of planning if you want to head anywhere but Sarajevo and Mostar as only a couple buses each day run to the smaller cities. Both major touristy cities, Mostar and Sarajevo, are quite walkable.

Is Bosnia Safe for Tourists?

Crime is low in Bosnia, and crimes against tourists are rare. That alone makes Bosnia among the safer destinations for travelers. Pickpocketing and petty theft in crowded areas and public transport are the biggest threats, which can be averted by using a crossbody travel purse . If you’re using a rental car to road trip around Bosnia, drive defensively and adhere to traffic rules. Mountainous regions may have narrow and winding roads, so drive carefully and be aware of other vehicles.

Landmines are still a major concern in isolated areas—they were used extensively during the 1990s conflict in Bosnia. Stay on marked trails and roads, and follow any warning signs that you encounter. If you’re driving the country, or hiking, be extremely cautious. Also, if you’re visiting smaller towns, carry enough cash to cover your stay in case the town doesn’t have an ATM.

Bosnia is an ideal solo travel destination as a result of its small cities and safe, easily navigable countryside. That said, anything can happen on the road. I am a firm advocate of broad-coverage travel insurance like IMG Global ; these are my main  tips for picking a good travel insurance .

Pigeon square and famous Sebilj fountain in Sarajevo, Bosnia

Books About Bosnia & Herzegovina

Fiction & nonfiction books about bosnia & herzegovina.

bosnia travel tips

This region’s war-torn past is recent; I highly recommend that you preface any trip with any of these recommended books and articles. There is a delicate nuance to even the most subtle language you use. Knowing the history and the culture smooths over awkward moments (like my first accidentally offensive moments in a cab in Bosnia!) and gives you a richer experience. Knowing the history is more important here. You may step on toes without even knowing it like I did.

  • Goodbye Sarajevo : I find memoirs a compelling way to learn about history, as well as its impact on the citizens living through that piece of a nation’s history. This true story is a beautiful piece that looks at how a set of siblings coped during the war, and how they reconnected to life and each other after the war ended.
  • Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Wartime Sarajevo : A riveting and heartbreaking look into how the outbreak of war changed the lives of the people living through it.
  • Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History : Fascinating travelogue and history of the Balkan region as the author delves into the roots of the Balkan conflicts and how they are manifested in the modern Balkan states.
  • Black Lamb and Grey Falcon : Beautiful and lyrical book that combines the author’s travelogue with a history of the region and insights from the region right as World War II began. A compelling way to read about Balkan history though it can be hard to distinguish fact from fiction throughout.
  • The Bridge on the Drina : The book is a vivid depiction of the suffering history has imposed upon the people of Bosnia from the late 16th century to the beginning of World War I. It has been hugely well received and will give political insights to the region and Balkan and Ottoman history.

Podcasts and Online Reads About Bosnia & Herzegovina

  • 14 Years a Fugitive: The Hunt for Ratko Mladić, the Butcher of Bosnia : A chronicle of how this Bosnian-Serb general—who is accused of killing thousands of civilians at Srebrenica and Sarajevo—evaded capture for so long.
  • Life in the Valley of Death : A sad and sobering long read about the man whose job it was to find the mass graves of those executed in during the war.
  • Bosnia Divided : A look at the soccer culture in the country and what the divided football culture says about the divisions that remain with the cultures living in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Read all my Bosnia & Herzegovina travel stories  and find more regional fiction and nonfiction books and long-reads .

Recommended Guidebook

Bradt makes great guides for offbeat destinations; consider the Bradt Bosnia & Herzegovina for a dense list of options that show a unique side to the country.

Hike near mostar things to do

Responsible Travel in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bosnia & Herzegovina’s tourism scene is growing as neighboring countries take the spotlight. Travel to Croatia and Montenegro is on the rise, and Bosnia is seeing the benefits. While Bosnia-Herzegovina has little coastline like its neighbors, the country’s fast-flowing rivers and beautiful mountain ranges make for a wonderful nature holiday. As with any country, particularly those still developing strong tourism industries, it’s important to practice socially responsible travel. Consider these ideas when you’re traveling through the region.

Book Local and Eco-Friendly Accommodation

Bosnia-Herzegovina has a large network of locally-owned pensions and B&Bs. Additionally, once you leave the touristy cities and head into the surrounding nature, you’ll find ample opportunity to support the country’s eco-tourism efforts. Consider using eco-lodges and etno villages whenever possible.

These types of rural accommodations are designed to limit human impact on the environment and to preserve culture. The etno (also spelled ethno in some places) often include traditional building methods from the Balkan’s region, and they aim to recreate and educate about traditional village life.

Support Local Artisans

Buying your souvenirs from local craftsmen is a positive way to support traditional artisans techniques and handicrafts. It’s also an excellent way to experience the region, and to later remember that special part of the local culture. Consider learning about traditional winemaking at Lake Skadar, or discover Sarajevo’s copper-making history and traditions. Spending money with local businesses is one of the best ways to ensure your travels have a strong and last impact on the local economy.

Leave No Trace Behind

Many travelers visiting Bosnia & Herzegovina head to the mountains and into nature on their visit. Consider bringing a reusable water bottle to limit your use of plastic water bottles—you can easily refill. And when hiking, skiing, or participating in outdoors activities, carry your trash back with you. You may even choose to bring a small bag on hikes and help clean up the local environment, as some areas have a fair bit of litter. And for women, use a menstrual cup for not only easy of travel, but it’s eco-friendly, too.

Consider these additional responsible travel tips to lessen your impact on the places you visit.

Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque in Sarajevo Bosnia travel guide

Best Things to Do in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Rafting or kayaking on the Una and Vrbas rivers are two top spots for this adventure activity, and many rate Neretva Canyon as well. There are so many incredible and offbeat things to do in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is a great spot for adventurous travelers keen for unique hikes and untouched mountains, and also for cultural travelers who love walking through history and seeing its visible effects.

The city and regional travel guides below share the best things you can see and do, as well as where to eat and sleep.

My Favorite Things to Do Traveling in Bosnia

  • Taking in Sarajevo’s lively cafe culture .
  • Observing and understanding the  bombing damage in Mostar .
  • Hunting down delicious  delicious sweet eats around Sarajevo .
  • Hiking to the cross above Mostar for sweeping views of the river, the city, and the Stari Most bridge.
  • Wandering Mostar’s Old Town, then sipping tea and people watching in the late afternoon.

Don’t forget to  book travel insurance for your trip —a great policy provides coverage in case of medical emergencies, lost or stolen gear, adventure sports riders, and more. I’ve used  IMG Global  for more than a decade  highly recommend it !

Things to Do in Sarajevo

Sarajevo is the perfect size city for travelers. It’s the capital of Bosnia, and the biggest city in the country, but it’s still small. You can stand in the center of town and see the gently green rolling hills surrounding the city. I truly loved my time in Bosnia, perhaps even more because it’s not a tourist hot-spot. It’s a bit off the beaten path so you don’t queue for hours and it’s easy to strike up conversation with locals (at least, with those who speak English!).

You can easily use the transit system to explore the city. Just buy your bus tickets from the all-purpose magazine stands and shops—be warned the transit police will come on board regularly to check tickets. Plan many of your activities around food, this was my primary activity in the city. Find good spots to sample baklava, the traditional burek , and take the time for full tea, sugar, and Turkish Delight experience.

Explore the historic streets of Baščaršija.

Sarajevo’s Turkish quarter boasts weaving, cobblestone streets tiny shops selling fun souvenirs and postcards. Give the streets a wander for a couple hours—it will be a journey through time as you wander the narrow cobblestone streets of Baščaršija, the heart of Sarajevo’s old town. Lose yourself in the bustling marketplaces, where the aroma of traditional Bosnian dishes wafts through the air. Marvel at the beautifully preserved Ottoman-era architecture, adorned with intricate patterns and vibrant colors. Visit the iconic Sebilj fountain, a symbol of the city.

burek in Bosnia is a staple snack

Eat a burek for lunch alongside locals.

Don’t miss the opportunity to taste mouthwatering cevapi, a local specialty of grilled minced meat served with fresh pita bread and creamy kaymak. Find a hole-in-the-wall burek restaurant for a delicious lunch amid the locals—this is where they head for lunch as well. Sit in the crowded little restaurants, sharing tables with the locals and the heat from the ovens permeating the space. The bureks and cevapi in these spots are worth it—as are the conversations!

Admire Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque and Bascarsija’s religious landmarks.

Find this Mosque, it’s gorgeous. You can explore Sarajevo’s religious heritage by visiting the grand Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque, an architectural gem from the 16th century. Marvel at its impressive dome, intricate calligraphy, and beautiful interior adorned with colorful tiles. Take a moment for reflection in the peaceful courtyard. While in Bascarsija, make sure to also visit other religious landmarks such as the Orthodox Cathedral, Catholic Cathedral of Jesus’ Heart, and the Jewish Museum, highlighting the city’s religious diversity.

Delve into Sarajevo’s history at the Latin Bridge.

Stand on the historic Latin Bridge, where a pivotal event unfolded that changed the course of history. This bridge is famously associated with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in 1914, an event that triggered World War I.

Visit the nearby Museum of Sarajevo, housed in an elegant Austro-Hungarian building, and gain a deeper understanding of the city’s past through exhibitions that showcase its tumultuous history, from the Ottoman Empire to the Yugoslav era and the Bosnian War. It’s a profound opportunity to reflect on the resilience of Sarajevo’s inhabitants and the importance of preserving peace.

Hike the hills outside of Sarajevo.

The city sits flush into the surrounding hills, and there are beautiful landmarks in the distant hills. Climb the winding paths to reach the Yellow Fortress, perched atop a hill overlooking Sarajevo’s enchanting skyline. As you reach the summit, breathe in the fresh mountain air and be rewarded with panoramic views of the city’s red-roofed houses, majestic mosques, and surrounding mountains.

Take a moment to reflect on the scars of war that can still be seen in the hillsides, a testament to the indomitable spirit of the people. Capture the picturesque vistas and immerse yourself in the serenity of this elevated vantage point. Ask your hotel or hostel for a good path out of town, and then set off with water and sturdy shoes. Even if you don’t make it to the right place, the hike is gorgeous, as are the views of Sarajevo.

Turkish tea set up in Sarajevo

Sip coffee and nibble sugar cubes.

Find a cozy cafe in Sarajevo’s old town and make it your spot for the days you’re in town. Bring a book, bring some friends, order traditional coffee. Then, drink the strong Bosnian coffee like a local by nibbling the sugar cube before each sip. It’s a lovely and delicious way to pass a couple of hours while observing the lively street life.

Pay tribute at the Sarajevo War Tunnel.

Visit the Sarajevo War Tunnel, a testament to the courage and resilience of Sarajevo’s residents during the Bosnian War. This underground passage, known as the Tunnel of Hope, provided a lifeline for the city during the siege from 1992 to 1995.

Explore a section of the tunnel that has been preserved and gain insight into the harrowing conditions faced by the people of Sarajevo. The accompanying museum displays artifacts, photographs, and multimedia presentations that offer a poignant narrative of the war’s impact on the city and its inhabitants.

Walk by the Sarajevo City Hall (Vijećnica).

Step into a masterpiece of architecture and cultural significance by visiting the Sarajevo City Hall, also known as Vijećnica. This majestic building, originally completed in 1896, showcases a blend of Moorish and Austro-Hungarian architectural styles. Admire the intricate detailing on the facade and step inside to marvel at the magnificent interior, including the breathtaking Sarajevo Haggadah exhibition.

The City Hall is not only a symbol of Sarajevo’s historical grandeur but also a testament to its resilience, as it was heavily damaged during the Bosnian War and meticulously restored to its former glory.

Stroll along the Miljacka River and Vrbanja Bridge.

Take a leisurely walk along the banks of the Miljacka River, which flows through the heart of Sarajevo. Enjoy the picturesque scenery, charming bridges, and the sight of locals engaging in daily activities. One bridge that stands out is the Vrbanja Bridge, known for its symbolic “Sarajevo Roses.”

These are concrete scars filled with red resin, representing the spots where mortar shells struck during the war. They serve as both memorials and reminders of the city’s turbulent past, creating a poignant contrast against the river’s tranquil ambiance.

Sleep somewhere central.

Sarajevo is a small capital city compared to larger ones in Europe, but it’s still large enough that you should find somewhere central so that you can easily navigate to the top spots in the city. These are good options”

  • On a budget : Stay at the Residence Rooms . I’ve heard great things about this spot. Good wifi and they’ll help you arrange fun activities in the city. Right in the heart of where you want to be in Sarajevo. Good for a short stay in the city since it’s so close to everything!
  • For mid-range travelers : Consider  Motel Mujanic  for a midrange price, or Hotel Bristol Sarajevo  is also a nice place from which to organize your search.

Things To Do in Mostar

Herzegovina - Stari Most Bridge sunset

Small and touristy, this lovely city in the south is flat-out charming. Hordes of cruise ship passengers from Dubrovnik, Croatia visit on a day trip most afternoons. Even so, it’s a wonderful spot. And doubly so if you’re staying in town for a week and you can visit the gorgeous waterfalls, towns, and scenic spots nearby.

A general recommendation is to steer clear of the touristy area in the mid-afternoon hours—use this time to head out on the recommended day trips. If you’re in town when the cruise shippers arrive, head to an outdoor cafe, sip a cool beverage, and engage in a favorite local pastime: people watching.

Explore the cobbled alleyways of Old Town. 

There aren’t a ton of particular activities in the area, but the town was recently war-torn and that is still incredibly evident in many of the buildings, and certainly the vibe. Explore the shops, buy souvenirs and strike up a conversation with anyone who speaks English (they can be few and far between!). Bosnia has an outdoor cafe culture , so that’s where you’ll find the locals too.

bomb damage war Mostar, Bosnia

Visit the Stari Most bridge at various times of day.

Read up on the history of the bridge so you understand just why this is such a well-loved landmark for Bosnians. Kind of like the Taj Mahal, it looks totally different depending on the time of day, so plan to visit it several times!

Visit the Koski Mehmed Paša Mosque.

If the hike to the cross isn’t doable (explained below), consider the small entrance fee to this mosque as payment for the stunning views of Stari Most from the minaret.

Visit Blagaj Tekke (Dervish Monastery).

Just 12 kms outside of Mostar, this holy spot is popular with both pilgrims and tourists. It’s very pretty and I highly recommend it. You can get there by bus, car, or perhaps a day trip booked through your accommodation.

Day trip to the cool waters of Kravice Waterfalls.

\Wear your swimsuit under your clothes so you can take a tip in the pretty turquoise waters. It’s 40 kms outside of town, so it’s doable in a day and there is a cafe on site where you can grab lunch and coffee.

See the splendid views from Pocitelj.

Much of this town was destroyed during the war, but it’s in a gorgeous location and just 30 kms outside Mostar. It makes an easy day trip .

Hike to the Križ na Humu .

This is not a popular tourist hike, it’s not been set up for that, so be prepared to forge your own route. You’ll be a fair clip outside the tourist center, but it’s worth a half-day if you have time. From the streets of Mostar, the huge cross is visible on a nearby hill. From the cross, the views over Mostar are gorgeous. It also provides a unique angle on the Stari Most bridge, which was rebuilt after war damage and a sign of hope for the city.

Stay somewhere nice.

Mostar is a small town, so chances there are many great areas to stay in the city.

  • Budget : Hostel Miran : This is a small, clean hostel very convenient to the Old Town. They offer a range of tours to help explore the region on a budget, and the free breakfast is a bonus. If you’re on a tight budget this is a good spot. Guesthouse “Taso” was recommended by an A Little Adrift reader—it would also have all the amenities you need to enjoy your time in Mostar.
  • Midrange : Consider  Hotel-Restaurant Kriva Cuprija  or City Hotel  for a nice place from which to organize your search.

herzegovina travel

Bosnia Beyond Mostar and Sarajevo

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country with a rich history and culture, and there are many things to see and do beyond Sarajevo and Mostar. Here are a few other ways that you can explore the nature and culture in other areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Explore Počitelj

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of the medieval city of Počitelj. Located in the Neretva River Valley, Počitelj is a small village located in the Neretva River Valley, about 30 kilometers southwest of Mostar. It is known for its well-preserved Old Town, which is built from stone and features a number of historic buildings, including a 16th-century Ottoman-style mosque. The village is a popular tourist destination, with many visitors coming to see the Old Town and to explore the surrounding countryside.

Take in Nature at the Vrelo Bosne Nature Reserve

Take a trip to the Vrelo Bosne nature reserve, just outside of Sarajevo. The reserve is known for its hiking trails, waterfalls, and picnicking areas. It’s also home to a number of plant and animal species, including a number of rare and endangered species.

Brush Up on Roman History at Aquae Sulphurae

Aquae Sulphurae is the site of an ancient Roman city located in western Bosnia. The city was founded in the 2nd century AD and was known for its thermal baths, which were believed to have therapeutic properties. Today, visitors can see the remains of the baths and other ancient structures at the site.

Slow Down in Jajce

Jajce is a town located in central Bosnia, about halfway between Sarajevo and Banja Luka. It is known for its beautiful waterfall and its medieval castle, which sits atop a hill overlooking the town. The castle is a popular tourist destination, with many visitors coming to see its well-preserved walls and towers.

Wander the Old Town Travnik

Travnik is a town located in central Bosnia, about 70 kilometers northwest of Sarajevo. It is known for its Ottoman-era architecture and its charming Old Town, which features a number of historic buildings and narrow, winding streets. Travnik is also home to a number of museums, including the Museum of Travnik, which is dedicated to the history of the town.

Hike in Sutjeska National Park

Sutjeska National Park is located in southern Bosnia, near the border with Montenegro. It is known for its beautiful natural scenery and its hiking trails, which offer visitors the opportunity to explore the park’s forests, mountains, and valleys. The park is home to a number of plant and animal species, including a number of rare and endangered species.

Essential Travel Planning Resources

❗ Yes, you need travel insurance . IMG Global is the travel insurance I’ve used for well over a decade of traveling solo, and with kids. Here’s why .

🧳 Smart packing can save your trip. Shop my favorite travel gear , including all of the packing essentials for world travel , gear to keep you safe on the road, my favorite travel books , and more.

🛏️ Find great accommodation . Booking.com is essentially the only hotel booking site that I use. It has a wide and affordable selection of traditional hotels, but also hostels and vacation rentals, too. Use these pro tips to find the best travel accommodation .

📍 Navigate more effectively. Rome2Rio is super handy to assess the full range of transport options between two cities—shows everything from flights to trains, buses, minibuses, and more. If you’re booking a rental car, I’ve always found the best deals on RentalCars.com .

✈️ Book affordable flights. Expedia is one of the first places I look for low-cost flights .

☕ Peruse all of my tips for round the world travel , or learn how to move and live abroad .

Bosnia Travel Guide: Stories from the Blog

Dive into all of my Bosnia & Herzegovina travel stories—each one written live on my travel blog as I traveled through the region I share detailed guides and stories about cultural quirks, fun activities, and things I enjoyed doing in every area.

What is cuba like today? Horse drawn carriages still roam the streets

A Little Perspective… What Does Cuba Look Like Now?

herzegovina travel

A Little Sweet… Fun Desserts from Around the World

Traditional Turkish coffee in Sarajevo, Bosnia

A Little Travel Memory… My Big Bosnian Coffee Blunder

trying Kadaif, a tasty Bosnian dessert

A Little Sweetness… Discovering the Desserts & Sweet Flavors of Bosnia

Aerial shot of Stari Most bridge in Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina

A Little History… Surveying the Damage in Bosnia Ten Years After the War

herzegovina travel

A Little Fun… New Friends, Coffee Overload, and So Many Cafes

eating vegetarian in Bosnia

A Little Guide… Best Bosnian Foods & Recipes for Vegetarians

Visiting Sarajevo, Bosnia

A Little Welcome… Travel Days and a Cultural Faux Pas in Sarajevo

Bosnia and Herzegovina Tours & Vacations

Aerial view of Sarajevo cityscape against mountain during sunset, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Europe

Long overshadowed by stories of war, modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina shines.

Its dramatic mountain countryside, cobbled streets, age-old cultures, minarets and temples entice you to turn another corner and keep exploring. Get back to nature, step back in time or back up onto the dance floor to party the night away with  Sarajevo’s  lively locals.

Our Bosnia and Herzegovina trips

Bosnia and herzegovina tour reviews.

Filter by rating

Bosnia & Herzegovina Adventure

Cycle the Balkans

8 offbeat trips to escape the crowds in 2023

9 ways to get to know a place through multi-active adventures in 2023 

Mountains and minarets: a sustainable adventure through Bosnia and Herzegovina 

Bosnia and Herzegovina at a glance

Capital city.

3.3 million

Bosnia-Herzegovina Convertible Marka (KM)

Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian

Central European Standard Time (GMT+1)

CALLING CODE

Electricity.

Type C (European 2-pin) Type E (French 2-pin, female earth)

Learn more about Bosnia and Herzegovina

Best time to visit.

Summers in   Bosnia and Herzegovina  are hot and sunny. The country is at its sparkling best between May and September. In winter it can get bitterly cold. Don’t be surprised to see snow, especially in the hills where the white stuff can hang around until April.

Geography and environment

Little heart-shaped Bosnia is almost completely landlocked - it has only 12 miles (20 kms) of beautiful coastline along the Adriatic. But what it lacks in coastline, it more than makes up for with stunning rivers and plunging valleys. It shares borders with   Croatia , Montenegro and   Serbia .

Top historic sites in Bosnia and Herzegovina

1. stari most.

When Mostar’s 16th-century bridge was rebuilt after the 90s conflict, it became a new symbol of unity and hope. The only turmoil here these days is the fast-flowing river, into which young Bosnians dive, from 24m up, to test their mettle.

2. Bascarsija

Sarajevo’s Old Town is filled with mosques, artisan workshops, Jewish temples and bars that buzz all night long. Do as the locals do and down a cup of coffee, fill up on bosanski cevapi and start walking the cobbled streets.

Ilidza is one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s longest continuously inhabited sites. Neolithic ruins have been found and the Romans and Ottomans both had their time here. Contemplate the history as you soak in the town’s famous thermal baths.

4. Tunnel Museum

During the war, a tunnel was used to smuggle food, fuel and injured soldiers between the city and the free zone. The 20 m of the tunnel which still exists has been turned into an emotional insight into life during the war.

5. Jewish Museum

This fascinating museum is housed in a 16th-century synagogue. Its bare stone walls and timber floors breathe the history of Jews in Sarajevo over the past 400 years.

Further reading

Bosnia and herzegovina travel faqs, do i need a covid-19 vaccine to join an intrepid trip.

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travelers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travelers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Is tipping customary in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

Tipping 5-10% in bars and restaurants is expected.

What is the internet access like in Bosnia & Herzegovina?

Internet access is readily available in most towns.

Can I use my cell phone while in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

Cell phone coverage is fairly good in most areas. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your carrier before you depart if you wish to use your phone.

What are the toilets like in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

Western-style, flushable toilets are the norm throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.

What will it cost for a...?

  • Bottle of soft drink = 1.2 KM
  • Cup of coffee in a cafe = 2 KM
  • Beer in a bar or restaurant = 2.5 KM
  • Simple lunch = 6 KM
  • Dinner in an inexpensive restaurant = 10 KM

Can I drink the water in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

Tap water is considered safe to drink in Bosnia and Herzegovina; however, due to the different mineral content, some people may get stomach upsets from drinking the water if they aren't used to it. A better option is to find filtered water rather than rely on bottled water.

Are credit cards widely accepted in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

Credit cards are commonly accepted throughout Sarajevo but options may be more limited in smaller towns outside the city.

What is ATM access like in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

ATMs are becoming more common throughout the country, however it’s advisable to carry a supply of cash just in case.

What public holidays are celebrated in Bosnia and Herzegovina ?

  • 1 Jan New Year's Day    
  • 7 Jan Orthodox Christmas Day    
  • 9 Jan Republic Day
  • 14 Jan Orthodox New Year
  • 1 Mar Independence Day
  • Orthodox Good Friday*
  • Catholic Easter*
  • Orthodox Easter*
  • 1 May Labour Day
  • 2 May Labour Day Holiday
  • 9 May Victory Day
  • Ramandan Bajram / End of Ramadam*
  • 28 Jun St Vitus Day
  • 1 Nov All Saints' Day
  • 21 Nov Dayton Agreement Day
  • 25 Nov Statehood Day
  • 25 Dec Catholic Christmas Day

*Please note these dates may vary. For a current list of public holidays in Bosnia and Herzegovina go to World Travel Guide's website.

How do I stay safe and healthy while traveling?

From Australia?

Go to: Smart Traveller

From Canada?

Go to:  Canada Travel Information

From the UK?

Go to:  UK Foreign Travel Advice

From New Zealand?

Go to:  Safe Travel

From the US?

Go to:  US Department of State

The World Health Organisation also provides useful health information.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance before traveling?

Absolutely. All passengers traveling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

Does my trip support The Intrepid Foundation?

Yes, all Intrepid trips support the Intrepid Foundation. Trips to this country directly support our global Intrepid Foundation partners, Eden Reforestation Projects and World Bicycle Relief. Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Eden Reforestation Projects

Eden Reforestation Projects are helping to mitigate climate change by restoring forests worldwide; they also hire locally and create job opportunities within vulnerable communities. Donations from our trips support restoration across planting sites in 10 countries around the globe. Find out more or make a donation World Bicycle Relief

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Exploring Historic Towns and Scenic Hiking Trails in Bosnia and Herzegovina

A s the setting sun turns the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina golden, I walk across the Stari Most, or Old Bridge, which arcs over the turquoise Neretva River. I watch as young couples line up winetastings along the bridge walls and riverside restaurant patios serve plates of cevapi (lamb kababs with somun , Bosnian pita bread) against a backdrop of green mountains and spindly minarets. The call to prayer echoes across the water.

It's hard to imagine that everything I'm looking at, including the 16th-century Ottoman bridge, was destroyed in the 1990s conflict that devastated the country. The bridge and surrounding Old Town were rebuilt over five years under an international effort that began in 1999 and were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005. Stari Most stands as a symbol of reconciliation, but in a country composed of two separate federal entities-the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Srpska-with a decentralized government led by a tripartite presidency , a peaceful climate isn't always the reality. The ethno-religious divisions among Orthodox Christian Serbs, Catholic Croats, and Muslim Bosniaks that dominated the war still run deep in certain regions. While understanding that this legacy of conflict is important, the country's younger generation is keen to move on-and a new tourism initiative might help.

I've come here with tour operator Intrepid, which launched its Bosnia and Herzegovina Expedition this June, part of a five-year, $20-million project called Turizam, led by international development agency USAID. The aim is to use sustainable, community- and nature-based tourism to foster economic stability and social harmony, addressing issues such as high youth emigration and low participation of women in the workforce. The initiative includes financial support for businesses and industry training and the development of experiences that unite disparate parts of the country, like the Herzegovina Wine Route .

The project looks promising: In 2019, prepandemic slump, the country had the third-highest tourism growth rate in the world, and so far, 2023 marks tourism's highest-grossing year yet. While Mostar is by far the most popular stop for travelers, I venture much deeper. "Most people see Mostar and then they move on to Croatia or somewhere else," says our Intrepid tour guide Elsa Lojic. "For once I have a chance to lead a trip entirely in my country; it means a lot to me."

The Intrepid trip begins in Lojic's hometown of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in a valley along the Miljacka River in the southwest of the country. There, our group of travelers gather for dinner in the rolling hills high above the city at the home of Mersiha and Mustafa. The couple launched their business, Bosnian Cooking Lessons , out of their kitchen in 2018, offering visitors a look at traditional Bosnian food through both hosted dinners and hands-on cooking classes. Through its partnership with USAID, Intrepid worked entirely with small, locally owned businesses like this one to create the trip itinerary, ensuring travelers' dollars go where it counts. "We grew up in this neighborhood and now this is a way to share our home and our culture," says Mustafa. Beside him, Mersiha shows us how she rolls out dough for burek -pastries stuffed with spinach and cheese or lamb-into a paper-thin layer on the table. Later, we savor the miniature pies along with hot, bubbling platters of peppers, onion, and cabbage filled with minced meat. Outside, night blots out the city's red roofs, replaced by a sea of winking lights.

From Sarajevo, our small van drives north, a tapestry of forest, tumbling rivers, and the peaks of the Dinaric Alps unfurling outside the window. Arriving in the mountainous town of Jajce, we check into Konoba Slapovi, a locally owned hotel and restaurant ensconced in a storybook setting of trees and terraced waterfalls. Jajce is the birthplace of modern Yugoslavia-antifascist leaders from across the Balkans led by communist revolutionary Tito met here during World War II, forming the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It still attracts partisan tourists nostalgic for Tito's era. However, there's the promise of a different kind of tourism here, too.

A walk through town brings us to the 14th-century Jajce Fortress and the stone vestiges of St. Mary's Church, the country's oldest Catholic church. The church was later used as a mosque under Ottoman rule and today is an emblem of political strife, as Croats and Bosniaks argue over ownership. But the church also embodies a potential solution to this ethno-religious animosity: It's part of a multicultural architectural heritage that's up for UNESCO status and holds the potential to foster a spirit of unity instead of division. In smaller cities like Jajce, where schools are still segregated and it's taboo to marry outside your religious group, the hope is that UNESCO status might create a feeling of collective ownership over cultural heritage, one that celebrates the diverse religious architecture in the city-from mosques and churches to a Mithraic temple -a reminder to the community of the strength and beauty in diversity. With the increased tourism that would come with UNESCO status, locals might also come to see the economic value in shifting the tide toward tolerance and a more multicultural identity.

"This is a place where world religions could be presented to young generations to show how we can live in harmony," says our guide in the city, 32-year-old Dragan Glavas. "Tourism based on this heritage can remind us that we've lived in a mixed culture for hundreds of years and teach us to learn from each other," adds Glavas. It's a sentiment that's echoed by the people who welcome us into their homes and villages throughout the trip, whether that's over a slice of homemade fig cake in Stolac, the country's oldest city, or a traditional alfresco dinner in the less-traveled city of Konjic. Just outside the latter, travelers can visit Tito's bunker , a top-secret, Cold War–era nuclear bunker and military command center. In 2011, the sprawling underground fortress was opened to the public as an exhibition space for modern art and now offers guided tours.

Stops at lesser-known villages are part of Tourizam's Most Beautiful Villages concept, an effort to bolster rural tourism. Along that route is the town of Blagaj, where we visit the 15th-century Blagaj Tekke, a snow-white Dervish monastery that stands in relief against a cliff face, the Buna River rushing alongside it. It's long been a pilgrimage site for believers, poets, and explorers and the building embodies the sect's mysticism. Inside, I walk across threadbare ruby carpets, gaze up at a starry, stained-glass dome in a small hammam, and thumb through dog-eared copies of the Qur'an that sit on burnished wood shelves.

The potential for sustainable adventure tourism

There's no doubt that Bosnia and Herzegovina is culturally rich, but it has serious potential for adventure tourism, too. The landscape is still 65 percent forested and threaded with countless rivers and mountains, attracting white-water enthusiasts and climbers. A new via ferrata just opened, and some of the most scenic stretches of the Balkans' 1,250-mile Via Dinarica hiking trail run through the country. This is encouraging organizations like the Adventure Travel Trade Association to get involved in the Turizam project.

By developing ecotourism here, USAID hopes to expand protected natural areas (only 1 percent of the country's territory is covered by legally protected forests, and river ecosystems are at risk because of dam development) nudging political leaders away from extractive industries to recognize the value of protecting this natural heritage, something environmental advocates are already doing. Researchers are currently at work to prove the ecological value of the upper Neretva River, which is currently threatened by 70 proposed dams; in 2021, a Bosnian woman, Maida Bilal, was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for protecting the Kruščica River.

Although our day of white-water rafting on the Neretva River near Konjac is thwarted by bad weather, we embark on a different adventure in the southwest. The landscape here turns arid and open, with yellow wildflowers sprinkled through fields dotted with small knots of houses. Our group clambers into a 4x4 Jeep and climbs a rutted dirt road high above the town of Livno. On the Kruzi plateau, where a windswept landscape of scrub and craggy rock stretches toward the foothills of Mount Cincar, we roll to a stop. Before us, dozens of wild horses graze and canter beside their colts, flicking their manes in the lemon sunshine.

These hills were once used for farming, but now more than 700 horses roam here, and tour company Continental Adventure gets visitors up close to them on its Wild Horses Safari. Founder Marin Mamuza left Bosnia as a teenager to study in Croatia, but the potential he saw in this business brought him home. "Brain drain is a big problem in Bosnia, but tourism gives young people a reason to come back, vote differently than past generations; that's how things will change," says Lojic.

The area we're standing in marked the fighting line between Croat and Serb forces during the war, and the era's ghosts haunt the hills: Red and white posts in the distance mark mine fields-unmarked and unexploded landmines still pose a risk in a small percentage of rural and remote areas, making it important to explore with a knowledgeable guide-and an imposing white cross stands like an enormous grave marker on a hilltop to commemorate Croat lives lost. Even so, 30 years later, there is the promise of a different future here. There's hope.

This picturesque plateau is where Mamuza asked his Croatian wife to marry him, he told me. "I want to remember this place for love, not war."

Blagaj Tekke, a Dervish monastery by the banks of the Buna River, is a few miles south of Mostar.

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The R&K Guide To Moscow

The World Cup is upon us, but you could argue that it’s already a relic from another era, a time when Putin was looking for peaceable engagement with the West, before he annexed Crimea and unleashed his trolls on the world. But if ordinary Russians are supposed to play the part of pariah, they haven’t been told. It has been a long time since Moscow was this pleasant to visit. The city center is safe, sanitized, ready for your visit. Yes, the calm is a sign of an increasingly efficient autocracy. But we’ve known Moscow through many iterations, and for the casual visitor, this is one of the best yet. (Visit our St. Petersburg guide here.)

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Visa-free travel to Russia

Several countries now have bilateral agreements in place with the Russian Federation to allow visa-free travel to Russia for their citizens. Unfortunately, however, there is no indication that similar agreements will be reached with the EU, the US, or the UK any time soon.

If you are not a citizen of one of the countries below and do not hold a diplomatic passport, the only other way to visit the Russian Federation without a visa is on a cruise ship to St. Petersburg. This exemption allows you to stay in the city for up to 72 hours without a visa on the condition that you are sleeping on the ship and are accompanied at all times by a licensed tour guide. If your cruise calls in St. Petersburg for 48 or 72 hours, there are companies offering shore tours which include a day in Moscow.

The same visa-free regime is applied to passengers on ferries from Helsinki and Tallinn operated by the company St. Peter Line, although in the case of ferry passengers you need to book your own accommodation. Again, it is possible within the 72 hours to visit Moscow as well. You can find out more about visa-free tours to Moscow and St. Petersburg here .

Nationalities which can travel to Russia without visas are divided into four groups with different requirements and different limitations on length of stay for each group. Even if you do not need a visa to enter Russia, you will certainly need a passport valid for at least six months after the date of your proposed exit from Russia, and you may require other official documents. You will also, like all foreign travelers in Russia, still need to register with the Federal Migration Service upon arrival.

Citizens of the countries of the CIS (the Commonwealth of Independent States) are permitted to stay in the Russian Federation for up to 90 days without a visa.

Citizens of these countries are allowed to stay in the Russian Federation without a visa for up to 90 days in each 180-day period, provided they will not be involved in any commercial or work-related activities during their stay.

Citizens of the countries in this group can stay in the Russian Federation for up to 30 days without a visa. They are not entitled to work while in Russia.

Citizens of these Balkan countries can also stay in Russia without a visa for up to 30 days, but must also show tourist documents (tourist confirmation and tourist voucher) or an official invitation to immigration officials.

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Sheremetyevo is the main airport for Moscow and is the one you're most likely to arrive at. Don't hold your breath: built for the 1980 Olympic Games , Sheremetyevo is now groaning under the weight of a post-Soviet travel boom which has pushed annual passenger traffic above 12 million people a year. The building is rather shabby and queues are common. Expect to take at leat 45 minutes to clear security, check-in, and passport control. There are two main terminals, 1 and 2, so make sure you find out which you are flying from when leaving Russia. International flights mostly depart from Terminal 2 and Domestic flights from Terminal 1, but there are some exceptions.

To get into central Moscow the easiest thing is to grab a taxi. Drivers vying for your attention ask for outrageous sums, up to 100 USD (2500 roubles) for a 45 minute ride. Just say no, offer around 1000 - 1250 roubles and you'll get your cab!

Vnukovo is home to the huge Russian Government Fleet. It's unlikely you'll find yourself here unless you've done something wrong!

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It usually takes about 36 hours to get from Western Europe to Moscow or St. Petersburg by train. If you take a train from Eastern Europe ( Warsaw, Poland , for example) it'll take you around 24 hours, whilst travelling from the Baltic states will take you around 15 hours. Add some time for changing trains. The average return ticket from Western Europe to Moscow by train is around $200. Obviously, the closer you are to Russia the cheaper it is, especially from the Baltic States. If you have an international rail pass the price might be considerably cheaper, depending on the option you choose.

Not for the faint-hearted! Do you really want to drive for 36 hours only to be greeted by the madness of Moscow rush-hour? Think again!

I would like to take a Refresher course in Russia.

I did MA,PhD in Russian.But I don't have as much fluency in Russian.So I wish to study in Russia.

I need To See Moscow

Very interesting and helpful, keep up the good work :)

Arriving in Moscow: New train from Sheremetyevo airport to savelovsaya station. Avoid taxis and shuttles.

hmmmmmm this info is real great helpful because am planning on to going down there so i give this a 10 out of 10 i love this information you all put up ;]

Just thought I'd mention that if you have the chance and if you are a bit nervous of flying I recommend trying to get to Russia by any carrier OTHER THAN AEROFLOT. They still fly the old Tupolev 154 a bit too often for my liking, and when I can from Warsaw recently that's what I got on! I have to say the flight was fine, but I didn't much like the smell of hydraulic oil in the cabin! Often if you book a ticket with another airline (Like Polish LOT) you think you will be flying on their nice new Boeing or whatever, but when you get to the airport, you find you are codesharing on one of these rustbuckets. You have been warned - always check first!!!!

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  1. Approaching Boundary Of Bosnia & Herzegovina From Dubrovnik In Croatia #croatia #bosnia #herzegovina

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  3. Entering Stolac

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  5. شلال ستاربوك الحديقه الوطنيه البوسنه Štrbački Buk waterfalls Bosnia and Herzegovina

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COMMENTS

  1. Bosnia & Herzegovina Travel Guide (Updated 2024)

    When to Go to Bosnia & Herzegovina. In general, May through to October is the best time to visit Bosnia & Herzegovina as these are the warmest months. The temperature hovers around 31°C (87°F) and rarely drops below 17°C (62°F). Even in the summer months, Bosnia & Herzegovina doesn't get a ton of tourism traffic.

  2. Bosnia and Herzegovina International Travel Information

    Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories.

  3. Bosnia & Hercegovina travel

    Europe. Craggily beautiful Bosnia and Hercegovina is most intriguing for its East-meets-West atmosphere born of blended Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian histories filtered through a Southern Slavic lens. Many still associate the country with the heartbreaking civil war of the 1990s, and the scars from that time are all too visible.

  4. Home

    DOWNLOAD OUR APP. Elevate your travel experience with our official Bosnia and Herzegovina Tourism app. Plan your trip effortlessly, access detailed guides, and get personalized recommendations at your fingertips. Whether you're looking for hidden gems or the most popular sites, our app makes it easy to navigate and enjoy Bosnia and Herzegovina.

  5. Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel Guide

    Travel Guide on Best-Time to Visit, Must-See Places, Must-Do Things, Must-Try Food, Local Language for Travellers, Local Cultures and Safety. ... Bosnia and Herzegovina, nestled in the heart of the Balkans, is a hidden gem of Europe waiting to be explored. With a rich and complex history, stunning natural beauty, and a vibrant cultural tapestry ...

  6. The Ultimate Bosnia & Herzegovina Travel Guide: What to Do, Eat, Stay

    Nestled in the heart of the Balkans, Bosnia & Herzegovina has often been overlooked as a tourism destination in favor of its more popular neighbors (like Croatia and Montenegro). However, thanks to recent developments and new transportation links, travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina is quickly picking up — and for good reason! Bosnia is a […]

  7. 17 BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA TRAVEL TIPS: What to Know Before You Go!

    Sikteruša - Literally, 'Go away coffee.'. This happens when an unwelcome guest comes and you make them coffee (to be polite), but bad-ish coffee so they leave earlier. 15 - Souvenirs to buy. As you wrap up your travels, you might want to get a unique souvenir (or two ) to commemorate your trip.

  8. Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel Guide for First Timers

    Use our Bosnia and Herzegovina travel guide for first timers for ideas and context. Our trip to Bosnia made it one of our favorite destinations. Ten things we couldn't leave out of our Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel Guide for first timers: 1. Getting in and out might seem a little difficult, but it's really nothing to worry about. 2.

  9. Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel Guide (2024)

    Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel Guide (2024) 30/01/2024 31/01/2024 Inspired To Explore 0 Comment Travel Guides. Welcome to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), a country where diverse cultures meet! Although it had a tumultuous past until the early 2000s, Bosnia and Herzegovina is now starting to attract tourists again. But not much is known about the ...

  10. Bosnia & Herzegovina Travel Guide

    Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH for short) is often associated with loss and death. From the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand which set WWI in motion, to the Siege of Sarajevo and the Srebrenica massacre, BiH has long been viewed as a nation torn apart at the seams. But now more than ever, it's equally a place of new beginnings and ...

  11. Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel Advisory

    If you decide to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina: Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and crowded public venues. Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information. Remain on hard-surfaced roads and stay out of abandoned buildings due to risks from land mines.

  12. Travel Guide Bosnia-Herzegovina

    Where to go in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Most travellers spend their time in the country's two major draws: Sarajevo and Mostar. Sarajevo has shrugged off its years under siege to become one of Europe's most likeable capitals, while the delightful city of Mostar is focused on an Old Bridge that, meticulously rebuilt after destruction during the war, must be the most photographed object in the ...

  13. Herzegovina Travel Guide

    The Rough Guides to Bosnia-Herzegovina and related travel guides. In-depth, easy-to-use travel guides filled with expert advice. Buy US$34.99. Find even more inspiration here. 6 reasons why Sarajevo is the coolest city in the Balkans. Best things to do in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

  14. Everything you need to know before you visit Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel Information Currency. The currency of Bosnia and Herzegovina has a slightly odd name: it's called the 'Convertible Mark'. The name comes from German, back when Germany had the Deutschmark. It's exchange rate is strong, though! So that's very good news. One Convertible Mark is about 0.60USD or 0.45GBP.

  15. 16 Things To Know Before Traveling To Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Travel Tips Before Traveling to Bosnia and Herzegovina. 1. It's Perfectly Safe To Visit. Bosnia and Herzegovina is perfectly safe for tourists and has really low crime rates. So, if you're wondering if it's still a war zone and if you can travel there safely, the answers are no and then yes.

  16. A Guide to Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel

    Most passports will get you 90 days, however, it's best to check before you go. Currency: The official currency of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Bosnian Convertible Mark. At the time of writing, 1 USD is equal to 1.65 KM. Close to the Croatian border, you may be able to use the Kroner.

  17. Best Things to Do in Bosnia (2023 Bosnia Travel Guide)

    Bosnia and Herzegovina declared sovereignty and independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991 and 1992. It's this action that set off a chain of events that would shape the country's next few years—the Bosnian War was a bloody civil strife focused around ethnic and religious differences. The Serbs resisted the declaration of independence, preferring to create a country divided along ...

  18. Bosnia and Herzegovina Tours & Vacations

    Long overshadowed by stories of war, modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina shines. Its dramatic mountain countryside, cobbled streets, age-old cultures, minarets and temples entice you to turn another corner and keep exploring. Get back to nature, step back in time or back up onto the dance floor to party the night away with Sarajevo's lively locals.

  19. Exploring Historic Towns and Scenic Hiking Trails in Bosnia and Herzegovina

    A s the setting sun turns the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina golden, I walk across the Stari Most, or Old Bridge, which arcs over the turquoise Neretva River. I watch as young couples ...

  20. Moscow Guide

    Park Zaryadye This rolling green behemoth on the edge of the Moscow river opened for the city's 870th birthday in 2017. It has lush lawns, museums, concert halls, a food court, and a floating bridge for prime photos. The Diorama at Hotel Ukraine This 1:75 scale mini-Kremlin and Moscow was built in 1977 for a Soviet exhibition in New York, where it was an overnight sensation.

  21. Moscow Travel in 24 hours by Global Adventuress

    RESOURCES. CRUISE LINE . Seabourn Seabourn is a fabulous luxury cruise line that cruises through the Baltic and Scandinavia regions, as well as worldwide.. TRAVEL PRODUCTS & SERVICES. DK Travel: Excellent travel guides with helpful maps, inspiring images, and lots of great information to help you plan your travels.. TravelPro: High quality luggage, preferred by flight crews, frequent travelers ...

  22. Traveling to Moscow without a Russian visa

    Countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia. Citizens of these Balkan countries can also stay in Russia without a visa for up to 30 days, but must also show tourist documents (tourist confirmation and tourist voucher) or an official invitation to immigration officials.

  23. Getting to Moscow

    It usually takes about 36 hours to get from Western Europe to Moscow or St. Petersburg by train. If you take a train from Eastern Europe ( Warsaw, Poland, for example) it'll take you around 24 hours, whilst travelling from the Baltic states will take you around 15 hours. Add some time for changing trains. The average return ticket from Western ...